I made a script and it looks like this:

#!/usr/bin/expect -f
set ip [lindex $argv 0];
spawn ssh name@server
expect "assword"
set timeout 0.5
send "password\r"
expect "xxxxx"
set timeout 1
send "telnet $ip\r"
expect "assword"
send "password\r"
expect "xxxxxx"
send "xxxxxxx\r"

The script continues to a point where my output shows like this:

Last update from 1d06h ago
  Routing Descriptor Blocks:
  * from

I need to figure out how to extract this IP that will always be unique ( and put it forward automatically into my script so I can continue.

1 Answer 1


There's two instances of; on the assumption that the first instance is okay to match on, one will first need to write a simple script that generates the required output and also includes fake prompts as more or less done by the remote device:

#!/usr/bin/env expect
proc prompt {} { puts "prompt"; gets stdin; }
puts "Last update from 1d06h ago"
puts "  Routing Descriptor Blocks:"
puts "  * from"

I've called this script generator; one then also needs another script that calls and interacts with this script. But first a diversion into how to iterate quickly on changes to these scripts; in another terminal I had running:

$ (echo consume; echo generate) | entr ./consume

which runs the consume script anytime either of the consume or generate scripts changes. Then I can fiddle around with the scripts to interact with the prompts, find the required output, and apply a regular expression (read the regexp(n) manual) to it:

#!/usr/bin/env expect
spawn -noecho ./generate

expect -ex prompt
send -- "before\r"

expect -ex prompt
# this is what I used to confirm that the required prompt block
# had been matched
#puts ">>>$expect_out(buffer)<<<"

regexp {Last update from ([^ ]+) } $expect_out(buffer) unused theip
puts ">>>$theip<<<"

send -- "after\r"
expect eof

this method assumes the desired output is braced by prompts; another option would be to expect the Last update ... line with a regular expression but that may be more complicated. Also this IP address match could really match anything; use a more exact regular expression if you need to validate that the text there really is an IP address.

misc concerns:

  • Your timeouts are very low; what happens if any of the systems or networks involved are slow, and the output takes longer than the given timeout to arrive?
  • There's not much error checking, what happens if the ssh system instead throws up a host key error or prompt, or ...

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