Pass parameters to interactive Unix script

I hhhhhhhhaaaaaattttteeee being a monkey that just pushes a button. There’s always a better (and cheaper) way to restart a system than to have a human push a button to restart a system. God gave us computers just for that reason!

We have an environment that treats the person running the restart command as someone that is not familiar with running the and scripts. To get to this point in this environment requires a huge amount of IT experience, but for whatever reason the stop/start command requires a crap-ton of hand-holding.

I’m not in charge of this system, but during an on-call I had to be the monkey that pushes the stop/start buttons and follow-along with the series of very basic questions. Eff that, surely it can be scripted, but “impossible” replied my compadre, it cannot because the stop/start requires you to enter some usernames, passwords, numbers, and a prostate exam.

That’s bush league, there has to be a better way that can remove me from the process, sure enough, there is a cool feature in Unix that allows a line-separated list file to be passed to a script. An hour later, this is what was produced.

Test file that mimics the system stop/start interactive commands:

admin@server01:/tmp> cat
# Ask the user for their name
echo Give me your number
read varname
echo Provied number: $varname

echo Give me your username
read varname
echo Username: $varname

echo Give me your password
read varname
echo Password: $varname

echo 2 Give me your username
read varname
echo Username: $varname

echo 2 Give me your password
read varname
echo Password: $varname

echo Sleeping...
sleep 10
echo Done sleeping.

echo Press 7 to exit
read varname
echo You have entered: $varname

Here’s the input file that correlates to the questions being asked

admin@server01:/tmp> cat input.txt

Here’s what the execution of the file looks like

admin@server01:/tmp> cat input.txt | ./
Give me your number
Provied number: 1
Give me your username
Username: user1
Give me your password
Password: pwd1
2 Give me your username
Username: usr2
2 Give me your password
Password: password2
Press 7 to exit
You have entered: 7

As long as you know that the input from the user is the same order every time, you can use this method to “cat” a file of options to the script.

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