script Man page

SCRIPT(1) User Commands SCRIPT(1)


script – make typescript of terminal session


script [options] [file]


script makes a typescript of everything displayed on your terminal. It
is useful for students who need a hardcopy record of an interactive
session as proof of an assignment, as the typescript file can be
printed out later with lpr.

If the argument file is given, script saves the dialogue in this file.
If no filename is given, the dialogue is saved in the file typescript.


-a, –append
Append the output to file or to typescript, retaining the prior

-c, –command command
Run the command rather than an interactive shell. This makes it
easy for a script to capture the output of a program that
behaves differently when its stdout 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 telecoopera‐
tion: one person does `mkfifo foo; script -f foo’, and another
can supervise real-time what is being done using `cat foo’.

Allow the default output destination, i.e. the typescript file,
to be a hard or symbolic link. The command will follow a sym‐
bolic link.

-q, –quiet
Be quiet (do not write start and done messages to either stan‐
dard output or the typescript file).

-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 help text and exit.

The script ends when the forked shell exits (a control-D for 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 manipu‐
late the screen, the results are meant to emulate a hardcopy terminal.

It is not recommended to run script in non-interactive shells. The
inner shell of script is always interactive, and this could lead to
unexpected results. If you use script in the shell initialization file,
you have to avoid entering an infinite loop. Use e. g. profile file,
which is read by login shells only:

if test -t 0 ; then

You should also avoid use of script in command pipes, as script can
read more input than you would expect.

The following environment variable is utilized by script:

SHELL If the variable SHELL exists, the shell forked by script will be
that shell. If SHELL is not set, the Bourne shell is assumed.
(Most shells set this variable automatically).


csh (for the history mechanism), scriptreplay.

The script command appeared in 3.0BSD.


script places everything in the log file, including linefeeds and
backspaces. This is not what the naive user expects.

script is primarily designed for interactive terminal sessions, it’s
possible that when stdin is not a terminal (for example “echo foo |
script”) then all session hung ups, because interactive shell within
script session miss EOF and the script has no clue when close the ses‐
sion. See the NOTES section for more information.

The script command is part of the util-linux package and is available
from Linux Kernel Archive ⟨

util-linux June 2014 SCRIPT(1)