How to get a password from a shell script without echoing

I have a script that automates a process that needs access to a password-protected system. The system is accessed via a command-line program that accepts the user password as an argument.

I would like to prompt the user to type in their password, assign it to a shell variable, and then use that variable to construct the command line of the accessing program (which will of course produce stream output that I will process).

I am a reasonably competent shell programmer in Bourne/Bash, but I don't know how to accept the user input without having it echo to the terminal (or maybe having it echoed using '*' characters).

Can anyone help with this?


  • Here is another way to do it:

    # Read Password
    echo -n Password: 
    read -s password
    # Run Command
    echo $password

    The read -s will turn off echo for you. Just replace the echo on the last line with the command you want to run.

    In some shells (e.g. Bash) read supports -p prompt-string which will allow the echo and read commands to be combined:

    read -s -p "Password: " password