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expect command

Howto Use SSH To Run Command On A Remote Machine

This article examined a simple, but powerful, method to run commands on a remote machine using combination of ssh and a shell script:

Use Secure Shell (SSH) to run commands on remote UNIX systems and, with some simple scripts, put together a system that enables you to manage many systems simultaneously from one machine without having to log in directly to the machines themselves. Also examine the basics of a distributed management system and some scripts and solutions using the technique.

I have already covered how to execute commands on multiple Linux or UNIX servers via a shell script. The disadvantage of shell script is commands do not run in parallel on all servers. However, several tools exist to automate this procedure in parallel. With the help of tool called tentakel (highly recommended) , you run distributed command execution. Also, you can execute commands on multiple Linux or UNIX servers using special tools such as multixterm from expect project.

=> Distributed administration using SSH

Linux Shell Script to reboot DSL or ADSL router

If you need to reboot the router then you need to use web interface or telnet interface. Both methods take time, especially if you are playing with ACL, NAT or router firewall or you just wanna reboot the router from your Linux desktop. I have created simple script using expect tool to reboot router. Make sure you have expect command installed. Use rpm or apt-get command to install expect tool.

Shell script

Create a script as follows (tested on Beetel ADSL 220x router):

#!/usr/bin/expect -f
 
set timeout 20
 
# router user name
set name "admin"
 
# router password
set pass "PASSWORD"
 
# router IP address
set routerip "192.168.1.254"
 
# Read command as arg to this script
set routercmd [lindex $argv 0]
 
# start telnet
spawn telnet $routerip
 
# send username & password
expect "Login:"
send -- "$name\r"
expect "Password:"
send -- "$pass\r"
 
# get out of ISP's  Stupid menu program, go to shell
expect " -> "
send --  "sh\r"
 
# execute command
expect "# "
send -- "$routercmd\r"
# exit
send -- "^D"

Save script and setup executable permission on it:
$ chmod +x router.exp

How do I run this script?

You need to pass command to script to execute on a router. For example to display router uptime, interface information and to reboot router you need to type command as follows:
$ ./router.exp uptime
$ ./router.exp ifconfig
$ ./router.exp reboot

Since my ISP router offers menu as soon as login above script may not work on generic router such as Cisco or linksys router. Therefore, you may need to modify above script to work with your router. If you are a new to expect then use autoexpect command to generate script. It watches you interacting with another program and creates an Expect script that reproduces your interactions For straightline scripts, autoexpect saves substantial time over writing scripts by hand. Even if you are an Expect expert, you will find it convenient to use autoexpect to automate the more mindless parts of interactions. It is much easier to cut/paste hunks of autoexpect scripts together than to write them from scratch. Moreover, if you are a beginner, you may be able to get away with learning nothing more about Expect than how to call autoexpect. Just type autoexecpt:
$ autoexpectautoexpect started, file is script.exp

Next type telnet command (telnet to the router):
$ telnet 192.168.1.254
Output:

Login: USER
Password: Password

Now type commands on the router:
$ ifconfig
$ exit

You are done, type exit to stop autoexepct command:
$ exit
Output:

autoexpect done, file is script.exp

Just type ./script.exp to run ifconfig command:
$ ./script.exp
You can now modify script.exp to reboot or to run other commands. It is a real lifesaver.

See also: