Robert Basic has a recent post showing you how to use the "cookie jar" functionality included with Apache's "ab" benchmarking tool to get behind your PHP-based login with a simple curl and grep combo.
Tonight I decided to relax a bit and what better way of relaxing is there for a geek then to do some bash scripting?! So for fun and no profit I decided to try and benchmark pages with ab, Apache HTTP server benchmarking tool, which are behind a login. Turns out, it's pretty easy after reading some man pages.
He includes an example of the format of the "cookie jar" and the shell script he used to grab the PHP session ID from it and inject it into the "ab" call. The script is on github.