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I'm trying to create a shell script with a read command, so that when I run the script, it will ask the user a yes- or no-question. If the user types yes, the script continues, and if she writes no it stops.

What is the syntax for using the read command in such a way?

I am running Ubuntu 13.04.

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closed as off-topic by Rinzwind, Eric Carvalho, Sneetsher, BuZZ-dEE, Radu Rădeanu Jun 10 '14 at 0:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow." – Rinzwind, Eric Carvalho, Sneetsher, BuZZ-dEE, Radu Rădeanu
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

13.04 is end of life please upgrade; we are also not a coding site but I would not advice asking this on Here is a starter:… – Rinzwind Jun 8 '14 at 18:49
This also barely has anything to do with Ubuntu. This is just standard shell scripting, or in the case of some answers below, with bash extensions. – pilona Jun 9 '14 at 0:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You would probably be better served by the select command, which allows the user to select an option that's presented to them.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

echo "Are you sure?"
select yn in "Yes" "No"; do
    case $yn in
        Yes ) break;;
        No ) exit;;

# Add whatever you want to do if the user answered "yes" here

If the user answered "No", the script will exit without executing the code further down the script.

The only downside to using select is that the options are selected using numbers. So because we have two options, the user can't type "Yes", they have to type "1", etc.

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All your bash -programming questions in one go: - find "Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide".

It contains a lot of examples, very easy to read ;-) - I have had some pauses in my bash usage from time to time and have therefore used it as a dictionary.

Also: bash built in:s like read has help available as in

help read

and then, a simple answer to your question:

echo -n "Y/N - Yes or No :" && read -N 1 ans && echo -e "\r$(tput el)You said $ans."

tput - prints items from the terminfo database. "man terminfo" for more.

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on hold - if questions relating to bash is off topic, then at least let there be pointers off site (e.g. above) - unless this is allowed ubuntu specific users might step out of here, and possibly flag the place as unhelpful. – Hannu Jun 10 '14 at 20:20

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