Linux and Unix script command

Quick links

About script
Linux and Unix main page

About script

The script command makes a typescript of the terminal session.


script [-a] [-c command] [-e] [-f] [-q] [-t[=file]] [-V] [-h] [file]


script makes a typescript of everything printed on your terminal. It is useful for users who need a hardcopy record of an interactive session as proof of work done, as the typescript file can be printed out later with lpr. If the file argument is given, script saves all dialogue in file. If no file name is given, the typescript is saved in a file named typescript.

-a, --append Append the output to file or typescript, retaining the prior contents.
-c, --command command Run the command rather than an interactive shell. This makes it easy for script to capture the output of a program that behaves differently when its stdandard output is not a tty.
-e, --return Return the exit code of the child process. Uses the same format as bash termination on signal termination: exit code is 128+n.
-f, --flush Flush output after each write. This is nice for telecooperation: one person does "mkfifo foo; script -f foo", and another can supervise real-time what is being done using "cat foo".
--force Allow the default output destination, i.e. the typescript file, to be a hard or symbolic link. The command will follow a symbolic link.
-q, --quiet Operate without displaying any output.
-t, --timing[=file] Output timing data to standard error, or to file when given. This data contains two fields, separated by a space. The first field indicates how much time elapsed since the previous output. The second field indicates how many characters were output this time. This information can be used to replay typescripts with realistic typing and output delays.
-V, --version Display version information, and exit.
-h, --help Display a help message, and exit.

The script ends when the forked shell exits (a control-D to exit the Bourne shell (sh), and exit, logout or control-d (if ignoreeof is not set) for the C-shell, csh).

Certain interactive commands, such as vi, create garbage in the typescript file. script works best with commands that do not manipulate the screen; the results are meant to emulate a hardcopy terminal.


script myfile.txt

Logs all results to file myfile.txt. This will open a subshell and records all information through this session. The script ends when the forked shell exits (e.g., when the user types exit) or when CTRL-D is typed.