I want to use the script command to see my output both in the command line and also store it at the same time, as suggested here.

Now, I can do in my command line:

source activate foo
python my_file.py

Quite a hassle if I have to do this often, so I thought I would write a bash script that automatizes this. I tried to literally paste these commands into a command line file, but it would wait for input after script.

Instead, here's how I thought of implementing this in a bash script (such that I would just run the script and it would do it all:

script ../output.txt -c ' /home/foo/anaconda3/condabin/conda activate myenv3 && python myfile.py'

And this gives me a CommandNotFoundError: Your shell has not been properly configured to use 'conda activate'.

Why am I not using directly "source activate foo" or ". activate foo" as I would usually do? Well, if I try that, I get bash: activate: No such file or directory

I understand that /bin/bash apparently is not configured to do this in Ubuntu -- what should be my way forward?

  • I'm just guessing here...but in order to use conda, there are variables that have to be set in your ~/.bashrc (should be near the end of the file?). So, you need to source that first, before you run conda. When you start a new bash shell, it runs it for you.
    – Ray
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 9:47
  • Why can't you just the commands you know work each time at the terminal in a script?
    – vanadium
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 11:01
  • @vanadium I tried to copy&paste my commands into the bash script but it would just execute the first command ("script") and wait for further input.
    – FooBar
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 11:28
  • @Ray Indeed, there are lines at the end of ~/.bashrc that include anaconda paths. So youre suggesting adding ". ~/.bashrc &&" at the beginning of the -c ' /home/.... sequence? Because I tried that and it didn't change the outpu
    – FooBar
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 11:31
  • I know you need to source something, but how that fits into the script command that you're running is something that perhaps someone else can fill in for you -- I've never done that myself. Maybe try this...in your installation, there is a file. Mine is at: /opt/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/conda.sh (i.e., fill in the beginning for your system). Try sourcing this instead of .~/bashrc first?
    – Ray
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


When you run commands with script -c, they are run in a noninteractive shell:

$ script ../output.txt -c 'echo "\$0 = $0 ; FLAGS = $-"'
Script started, file is ../output.txt
$0 = bash ; FLAGS = hBc
Script done, file is ../output.txt

The flags are different from the normal interactive shell (note the presence of the i flag):

$ echo "\$0 = $0 ; FLAGS = $-"
$0 = -bash ; FLAGS = himBHs

Although noninteractive, non-login shells read your ~/.bashrc, they likely processes it differently. In particular, the default ~/.bashrc that would have been copied from /etc/skel when your account was created starts with:

# If not running interactively, don't do anything
case $- in
    *i*) ;;
      *) return;;

meaning that any conda related content that you added at the end of your ~/.bashrc will not get executed (and sourcing ~/.bashrc again won't help).

I don't know much about conda, but assuming it is capable of being run in such a shell, then one possible workaround would be the following:

  • remove the conda related portion of your ~/.bashrc to a separate file

  • source that file from your ~/.bashrc to keep the existing behavior for your interactive shell

  • source that file (instead of ~/.bashrc) first in your script -c ' ... ' command

  • Fourth option: move the conda-related part from the end of ~/.bashrc to the beginning, before the part that you quoted which returns for non-interactive shell.
    – raj
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 20:50
  • @raj indeed - although of course that may change the behavior of non-interactive shells in other contexts, which may be undesirable Commented May 26, 2021 at 21:06

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