SCRIPT(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual SCRIPT(1)


scriptmake typescript of terminal session


script [ -adfkpqr][ -t time][ file [ command ...]]


The script utility makes a typescript of everything printed 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(1).

If the argument file is given, script saves all dialogue in file. If no file name is given, the typescript is saved in the file typescript.

If the argument command is given, script will run the specified command with an optional argument vector instead of an interactive shell.

The following options are available:

Append the output to file or typescript, retaining the prior contents.
When playing back a session with the -p flag, do not sleep between records when playing back a timestamped session.
Create file.filemon or typescript.filemon using filemon(4).
Log keys sent to the program as well as output.
Play back a session recorded with the -r flag in real time.
Run in quiet mode, omit the start, stop and command status messages.
Record a session with input, output, and timestamping.
-t time
Specify the interval at which the script output file will be flushed to disk, in seconds. A value of 0 causes script to flush after every character I/O event. The default interval is 30 seconds.

The script ends when the forked shell (or command) exits (a control-D to exit the Bourne shell ( sh(1)), and exit, logout or control-D (if ignoreeof is not set) for the C-shell, csh(1)).

Certain interactive commands, such as vi(1), create garbage in the typescript file. The script utility works best with commands that do not manipulate the screen. The results are meant to emulate a hardcopy terminal, not an addressable one.


The following environment variables are utilized by script:
The SCRIPT environment variable is added to the sub-shell. If SCRIPT already existed in the users environment, its value is overwritten within the sub-shell. The value of SCRIPT is the name of the typescript file.
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(1) filemon(4) (for the history mechanism).


The script command appeared in 3.0BSD.

The -d, -p and -r options first appeared in NetBSD 2.0 and were ported to FreeBSD 9.2.


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

It is not possible to specify a command without also naming the script file because of argument parsing compatibility issues.

When running in -k mode, echo cancelling is far from ideal. The slave terminal mode is checked for ECHO mode to check when to avoid manual echo logging. This does not work when the terminal is in a raw mode where the program being run is doing manual echo.

If script reads zero bytes from the terminal, it switches to a mode when it only attempts to read once a second until there is data to read. This prevents script from spinning on zero-byte reads, but might cause a 1-second delay in processing of user input.

October 27, 2012 FreeBSD