I'm running a script that it requests entering 'y' on each operation, I am looking for a solution like $ ./script < echo 'yyyyyyyyyyyyyy' to pass all my inputs in one time.

  • 1
    Sometimes -f option works well with certain commands.
    – iammilind
    Jun 24, 2016 at 10:00

8 Answers 8


There is a command created specifically for that case: yes

$ yes | ./script

What this does is connect the output of yes to the input of ./script. So when ./script asks for user input it will instead get the output of yes. The output of yes is an endless stream of y followed by enter. So basically as if the user is entering y for every question of ./script.

If you want to say no (n) instead of yes (y) you can do it like this:

$ yes n | ./script

Note that some tools have an option to always asume yes as answer. See here for example: Bypass the yes/no prompt in 'apt-get upgrade'

Other methods to enter input:

If you know exactly how many y your script is expecting you can do it like this:

$ printf 'y\ny\ny\n' | ./script

The newlines (\n) are the enter keys.

Using printf instead of yes you have more fine grained control of input:

$ printf 'yes\nno\nmaybe\n' | ./script

Note that in some rare cases the command does not require the user to press enter after the character. in that case leave the newlines out:

$ printf 'yyy' | ./script

For sake of completeness you can also use a here document:

$ ./script << EOF

Or if your shell supports it a here string:

$ ./script <<< "y

Or you can create a file with one input per line:

$ ./script < inputfile

If the command is sufficiently complex and the methods above no longer suffice then you can use expect.

Here is an example of a super simple expect script:

spawn ./script
expect "are you sure?"
send "yes\r"
expect "are you really sure?"
send "YES!\r"
expect eof

Technical nitpick:

The hypothetical command invocation you gave in your question does not work:

$ ./script < echo 'yyyyyyyyyyyyyy'
bash: echo: No such file or directory

This is because the shell grammar allows a redirect operator anywhere in the command line. As far as the shell is concerned your hypothetical command line is the same as this line:

$ ./script 'yyyyyyyyyyyyyy' < echo
bash: echo: No such file or directory

That means ./script will be called with the argument 'yyyyyyyyyyyyyy' and the stdin will get input from a file named echo. And bash complains since the file does not exists.

  • 2
    I get a cannot enable tty mode on non tty input. Would you know a workaround for that?
    – bmpasini
    Apr 22, 2016 at 19:33
  • When I try the printf trick with a run file that I need to automate the installation process of, all that happens is I get an error message saying Warning: Tried to connect to session manager, None of the authentication protocols specified are supported, and the script opens in a new terminal and asks me to enter my input manually as usual. This is happening on Debian by the way. Any suggestions? Jul 11, 2017 at 18:45
  • need more details. too big for comments. please ask a new question with all the details. you can put a link here.
    – Lesmana
    Jul 11, 2017 at 19:55
  • nothing works with 'vagrant destroy' on centos
    – Drew
    Sep 4, 2017 at 18:06
  • Wicked easy! Works on the Google Cloud Beta SQL data imports! Much appreciated!
    – G_Style
    Mar 30, 2018 at 18:12

Use the command yes:

yes | script

Excerpt from the man page:

       yes - output a string repeatedly until killed

       yes [STRING]...
       yes OPTION

       Repeatedly output a line with all specified STRING(s), or 'y'.

Some things (apt-get for example) accept special flags to run in silent mode (and accept defaults). In apt-get's case, you just pass it a -y flag. This does completely depend on your script though.

If you need more complicated things, you can wrap your script in an expect script. expect allows you to read output and send input so you can do pretty complicated things that other scripting wouldn't allow. Here's one of the examples from its Wikipedia page:

# Assume $remote_server, $my_user_id, $my_password, and $my_command were read in earlier
# in the script.
# Open a telnet session to a remote server, and wait for a username prompt.
spawn telnet $remote_server
expect "username:"
# Send the username, and then wait for a password prompt.
send "$my_user_id\r"
expect "password:"
# Send the password, and then wait for a shell prompt.
send "$my_password\r"
expect "%"
# Send the prebuilt command, and then wait for another shell prompt.
send "$my_command\r"
expect "%"
# Capture the results of the command into a variable. This can be displayed, or written to disk.
set results $expect_out(buffer)
# Exit the telnet session, and wait for a special end-of-file character.
send "exit\r"
expect eof
  • This can't be used it with a .sh shell script, right? Or is there a way?
    – Shayan
    Aug 29, 2019 at 15:50

In the shell script you can also use the following trick of spawn, expect and send

spawn script.sh
expect "Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?"
send "yes"

However in the above scenerio you will have to give the phrase you are expecting to get while you execute the script for more examples go to the following link

Expect within Bash


You can supply user input to your script with cat, from a text file, piped to your script with bash like this:

cat input.txt | bash your_script.sh

Just put your desired user input into your input.txt file, whatever answers you want - y, n, digits, strings, etc.

  • 1
    @WebComer How should I write the input.txt file? Can you give an example?
    – Shayan
    Aug 29, 2019 at 17:08

Okay, this may not be a very elegant solution but if you write your options in a separate file and then pass it as an input to the script, it would work as well. So if you create a new file with all your options (call this file as 'options.in'), then you can easily run your script with ./script.sh < options.in and edit/create different options files as suitable.

  • How should I write the options.in file? Can you give an example?
    – Shayan
    Aug 29, 2019 at 17:08

I was writing a bash script with Dialog and needed this to happen automatically also. I did this and it worked like a charm.

# -Wy force signaturewipe (if exists)
echo "y" | sudo lvcreate -W y -n $lvName -L "$lvSize"G /dev/"$svg" >> $nfsUtilLog

You can write the expect script as follow:

$ vi login.exp
#!/usr/bin/expect -f
spawn ssh [email protected]
expect "*assword: "
send -- "PASSWORD\r"

And run it as:

$ expect login.exp

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