Linux Journal Scripting Games?

by David Lane

For those of you who were unhappy that Script Frenzy was not about writing scripts but about writing...well...scripts, here is something to entertain you...The 2010 Scripting Guy Games! Huh? Windows? Um...

OK, yes the Scripting Guy Games are for Windows. But what if we did it for Linux. What sort of meaty script challenge could we come up with? Certainly something more challenging than determining the time or reading the registry. Here are some thoughts, with apologies to the Scripting Guy(s) for stealing their format.

Day 1: Beginner: Create a script to add a user to the system, provision their mail, IM, shares and home page.

Day 1: Advanced: Create a script to add a new system to the infrastructure, provision it and bring it on line without manual configuration.

Day 2: Beginner: Create a script to deprovision a departing user account, back up their files and move them off into storage.

Day 2: Advanced: Create a script to migrate an high-availability web cluster with MySQL database to new hardware, provisioned using the script from Day 1.

All four of these tasks were ones that I got hit with about two days into a job several years ago. The fun part was that we had to use basic shell commands. We did not have perl installed on the systems for security reasons, and we did not have ruby, or python or any of those wonderful tools. Just a bare bones installation of the kernel and bash (although feel free to use your shell of choice...ksh anyone?) - the tools needed to do the job at hand.

So, what do you think? Are you up to the challenge? Maybe we should set up a Scripting Gurus help and trade area on the site! Hmm...did I just hear our beloved webmistress whimper?