Ashier: Automating Terminal Interactions with Templates

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We are pleased to announce the open source release of Ashier, a utility that allows users to automate terminal interactions with templates.

Have you ever returned from lunch, only to find that the program you started an hour ago had made no progress because it was waiting for you to answer a trivial question?  Terminal interaction automation is a technique that automatically enters commands and answers program prompts in a terminal even when you are away from the keyboard.

Ashier offers several advantages over traditional tools (such as expect): a template language that replaces regular expressions in many situations, support for nested multiline textual data parsing, and the ability to integrate with response logic implemented in any language.

Ashier aims to make terminal interaction automation simpler and more accessible to users — so you can spend less time at your computer and still get more work done.

By Chuan-kai Lin, Site Reliability Engineering Team