I want to write a script that will automatically backup my documents to a remote computer. I have a lot (~500 MB) of files, so I only want the files to be backed up when a newer version exists. Short version of the question: how do I read a single line from a text file using bash? Long version of the question: Here is the plan for the script.... #!/bin/bash ssh remoteComputer # connect to remote comp find ~/Documents * > files.txt #find all files in documents and write to files.txt line=1 fileLength = (number of lines if files.txt) while [line -lte fileLength] do (put filename at the lineth line to the string fileName) if fileName -nt remoteComputer:~/Documents/fileName #go through all files and #check to see if remoteComputer has the #latest version of this file already scp line to remoteComputer #if so, update file fi line=$[$line+1] done exit #leave ssh session The exact implementation is what I need help on. If I could read files.txt line by line this would be very easy, but I can't figure it out!