Poll: Your Favorite Scripting Language?

by on March 17, 2009 · 36 comments· LAST UPDATED April 22, 2009

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Like most sys admin, I'm lazy. I try to automate almost all things in order to save time. Inexperienced sys admin and help desk staff working under me finds all these tools useful. It saves their time and avoids security issues. Automation allows help desk staff to do things that they don't have enough direct system knowledge to do themselves. However, selecting correct tool and applying correct methodology is very important.

Personally, I prefer BASH, Perl and Python (best glue languages) for my automation and sys admin work needs. Currently, I'm learning Django a high-level Python web framework with rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. It is important to note that Perl / Python is not the answer to all of your sys admin problems or web projects. What appropriate scripting language do you use to solve problems? What do you guys think?

[poll id="4"]

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ukdavo March 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Groovy :-)


2 Jaime Barragan March 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Javascript Just kidding, Can Ant be considered in this category?


3 nick March 17, 2009 at 7:41 pm

It was a hard choice… broke it down based on the post… I use Bash to automate almost everything I do… but when it comes to selecting a Scripting language for programming, I go with Python, but for most hardcore programming…. I’m a dev… so I use C or Java, but Python is on its way to replacing both in my head.


4 Seraphyn March 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm

LUA should be named too.
Greets from a daily reader, keep up the good work


5 housetier March 17, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I use zsh more than bash, however, I use python when the script’s estimated use time exceeds 3 hours.


6 zs March 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm



7 komradebob March 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm

bash has, by far, replaces csh/sh for me. Starting in on ruby.

There are still a few things that are just easier to do in good old fashioned c though. :)


8 Christer Edwards March 18, 2009 at 12:44 am

Bash for quick and dirty stuff. Perl for more intricate things.


9 Joe Nobody March 18, 2009 at 1:33 am

Change the Bash and friends to {c,tc,k,ba,z}sh and friends :)


10 Shoaibi March 18, 2009 at 10:15 am

For small scripts BASH/TCSH and for long scripts Python. You might think quite the opposite, but in long scripts i need readability and can compromise a little performance for it.


11 max March 18, 2009 at 10:16 am

combination of bash & perl => barl :)


12 Joe March 18, 2009 at 10:37 am

I like to mix them all up. Write the code using Bash n Friends + maybe call in some expect. then write a front end in PHP/HTML to collect the Parameters and its lets it publish it to any numpties who want to use it.


13 g0dkar March 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm

JavaScript and Perl =]


14 Ulver March 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm

┬┐could be a choice bash+pl-sql? (aka basql) xD

seriously for small things (quick-and-dirty) bash, for web php , for other stuff c


15 M7MoD March 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm

i love bash scripting and python also i love those languages


16 Trey Blancher March 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I work a lowly tech support job now, so I rarely do any scripting. Last time I had an admin job I did all my scripting in Perl, because at the time I was most comfortable with it. I’d probably go back to using it if I had the chance. But I voted for bash, et al., simply because most of my limited shell scripting nowadays doesn’t require anything more.


17 edgar March 18, 2009 at 7:45 pm

i use bash (and friends) .. i voted bash and friends, i guess its much easy somehow and that friends added makes it almost complete.


18 sims March 19, 2009 at 12:54 am

Why sh? Because it’s there on most systems. I think that is only reason I use it. Otherwise I’d be happy with Perl. Then I use Python or PHP to write an app or webapp. C++ or Java to develop software.

Some of these other languages are just too slow.


19 Vince March 19, 2009 at 4:26 am

Any language that’s compilable is not a scripting language (C, C++, and to a certain extent, java). Scripting languages are interpreted and do not run natively on a system (i.e.: shells, perl, etc).

With that said, I use Korn for creating jobs and reports, perl for anything that involves regular expressions, or a combination of the two.


20 aneesh March 19, 2009 at 7:32 am

I use Bash script as it is very easy to use and very handy..


21 farzaam March 21, 2009 at 12:26 am

Groovy is my choice.


22 wom March 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm

@ Vince
Perl/Python(Even, to an extend, tcl) are .compilable …;)

My adventures in compiling tcl are painful…


23 mSi March 26, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Python & Perl :)


24 anonymous coward April 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

vbscript YAY!


25 ennen April 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Bash for small scripts, Ruby for everything else.


26 jiltin April 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

No wonder Bash first, php second, sql third for me!


27 max April 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm
28 AYAK May 14, 2009 at 6:46 am

Pb =PHP,Perl,Python,bash :D they are the best :P


29 AYAK May 14, 2009 at 6:49 am

of course bash and his friend :S


30 suhail June 14, 2009 at 5:20 am

As an admin I used to use bash for every small and big things in our organization where i am working, but since the last 2 months thta i am learning python, I am enjoying it and i have started using python for every small and big scripts required for monitoring and admin part. So my vote goes to Python.


31 cfajohnson September 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

For most things, POSIX shell.

For more complicated programs, bash.


32 pakozdi January 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

TCL of course!!!


33 PrDatur March 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I prefer for some short and easy things bash, but mostly i write php command tools, i know that php is not really fast but for the most things the speed is enough for me, and couse i’m programming php for the last 7 years, i can write my things very fast :P
so ranking
1. php/bash and nothing else :P only if i need something else really.


34 Vamsi November 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I am learning Python ..


35 daniel September 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

bash, php, javascript


36 Steve March 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Korn beats bash on at least two counts – it doesn’t run pipelines in a subshell and, the killer command for me, cd can take two args! And Perl, of course, for the funky stuff that’s got to run fast.


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