Reading file from remote system and work on it locally

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# 1  
Old 02-22-2011
Reading file from remote system and work on it locally


I am still fairly new to shell programming, but I have taken an interest to it and want to try some new stuff.

I intend to make a shell script (using bash) to read a file on a remote system, then do some work on it on the local system and display it.

In the long run I want to have a script that does this automatically for me and I only need to initiate the script and it does updates say every 10 minutes or atoher user defined time intereval (I guess spesefied as an argument as well eventually)

But first things first. I need to be able to read the file and manipulate it. More spesific it is a comma seperated file contianing some valuses I am interested in. Not all of them, but value 2, 7 and 13 from each line I want to list on my local system.

I have so far desigend my script to take in the arguments of IPadress and filename:


# Look for args, if worng number of agruments print error and exit
# ARGS is number of arguments scripts expects

if [ $# -ne $ARGS ]
    echo "$0:Error, missing or too many arguments!"
    echo "Usage: $0 IP filename"
    exit 1


As you see its so far very, very basic and not really useful as is. My next "milestone" so to speak is reading the file from a remote system. I do not want to manipulate the remote file at all, only read it and get it to the local system, there I will do the manipulation and print what I want, in a manner that disturbed the remote system the least.

But I am not entierly sure how to read the file from the remote system in a good way (after all I am still really new at shell scripting, I have only ever done some c++ programming before). Should I make a copy of it localy and use that further in my script? Or read the information I want form the remote system and only get thoose values to work with further?

I would appreciate some helps and hints here as to how to proceed. Assume I am a total newbie (and some examples if any would also help me understand) Smilie

If I have posted in the wrong section, I am sorry, but this looked to be the place were such things belong.

(Sorry if my english is not top notch, its not my native language)

Last edited by aaOzymandias; 02-22-2011 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: error in script
# 2  
Old 02-22-2011
As always: it depends. It depends on the type of the remote system and the local system, and what services are available? Can you access the remote side using SSH/FTP/CIFS/NFS/...? What tool will you use to further process the file? Which side has more processing power available? How fast is the network between the two?

For example, with a fast network, a quick local machine, and SSH access I'd do something like this:
ssh user@remote 'cat /path/to/file' | while read line; ...

On a slow network, with enough processing capability on the remote side I'd let that machine do the processing and only transfer the results:
ssh user@remote 'while read line; do ...; done < /path/to/file'

This User Gave Thanks to pludi For This Post:
# 3  
Old 02-22-2011
Thank you, a good question. And actually, there are two differet systems, one is far away with high latency, acrsoss the globe over satellite link, but has realtive high bandwidth. One in just a few meteres away, even higher bandwidth and very low latency. All of them have ssh (I use ssh all the time to access them), so I think using ssh is the perfered method. Processing locally might be better as well I think, despite being over saetllite link. (Realtively, the files I have interest in is not too big, usually not more than ~60 lines, but can reach up to ~1000 is some rare cases).
# 4  
Old 02-22-2011
OK, so bandwidth is not a problem. Are there a lot of files (> ~5k)? Do they each have a header? The reason I'm asking is that for a high file count on a high latency line it's more efficient to do fewer invocations of ssh.
This User Gave Thanks to pludi For This Post:
# 5  
Old 02-22-2011
There is only one file for each system.

The files look roughly like this:


Some of the values are strings with spaces included.
# 6  
Old 02-22-2011
Well, then all you need would be
ssh user@$IPADRESS "cat $FILENAME" | awk 'BEGIN{ FS=OFS="," } { print $2, $7, $13 }'

This User Gave Thanks to pludi For This Post:
# 7  
Old 02-22-2011
Thanks a bunch! Gonna try it out later today Smilie
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