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UNIX Introduction and Quick Reference

Commands may need additional information, such as Information applications

Quick Reference file or directory names, which are typed immediately
following the command name. Clarification and
locate commands by keyword
local and worldwide information
syntax for any command is available by typing man access
commandname after the ”%” prompt and then man display entries from online manual
pressing Return. rn, trn, tin read Usenet news

Basic file commands Network commands

cat concatenate or display files ftp general file transfer utility
cp copy files rcp copy files between UNIX systems
ls list file names rcp –r copy entire directory tree
ls –l list file names, sizes, attributes telnet connect to a remote system to log in
mv move or rename files ssh connect via a secure channel to a remote
rm remove files system to log in

Editors Controlling applications

The easiest editor to use is pico. The vi, jove, and fg restart a suspended command
emacs editors are also available. jobs display suspended commands
kill kill a command
Mail ps display commands with process numbers
The easiest mail program to use is pine. The elm and ^C interrupt currently running process
mail mail programs are also available. ^Z suspend currently running process
^S stop output on screen
^Q continue output on screen
Other file commands
diff compare two files
fmt simple line adjuster for mail
grep scan a file for a pattern chfn change information shown by finger
head display the first ten lines of a file clear clear screen
less display file one screen at a time date display date and time
more display file one screen at a time finger show information about users
sort sort/merge utility lpr send file to printer
tail display the last ten lines of a file passwd change password
wc count lines, words, characters in a file who tell who is logged in
wc –l count lines

cd change to a different directory
mkdir make a directory
pwd print the current directory’s name
Information Systems and Technology
rm –r remove directory & all files in that directory University of California
UNX 1.4.5 August 1995-2003 rmdir remove empty directory Berkeley, Ca 94720-3812
UNIX Introduction Special Characters History
This brochure provides a brief introduction to Special characters may be used in commands to The history command displays a numbered list
UNIX. A quick reference to commonly used match existing file and directory names. The asterisk of the last twenty-five commands entered. You can
commands is listed on the reverse side of this ( * ) is used to match an arbitrary string of characters. repeat a specififc numbered command in the list. For
brochure. A few features to get you started with For example, example,
UNIX are described below. % ls let* % !35
will list all of your files in the current directory repeats the command numbered 35. Also, you can
Files and Directories beginning with “let” and repeat the last command that began with “str” by
On UNIX, information is stored in files and % ls *old typing the following:
directories. Files have names, such as thesis or will list all files ending with “old”. % !str
A question mark is used to match any single You can repeat the last executed command in the list
report.nov19. Because UNIX uses special characters
for special purposes, it is best to use only letters character; for examle, by typing
( A...Z, a...z ), digits ( 0...9 ), periods ( . ), and % ls ab?de % !!
will match and list files named “ab1de”, “abcde” and
underscores ( _ ) in file names.
Files are created by various UNIX commands. “”, but will not match files named “abde” or For more information
You can save your mail messages in files. You can “abccde”. Information about UNIX commands is available
also create text files with an editor. via the man and apropos commands. Type
Files are located in directories. Directories can Redirection % apropos topic
contain other directories, with are called Commands normally display results on the to find manual entries relating to “topic”, and
subdirectories. The directory containing a screen; this output may be redirected to a file by % man command
subdirectory is known as the parent of the using the redirection ( > ) symbol. For example, the to find the manual entry for “command”.
subdirectory. Each account has a main directory who command lists the current users on the system. Many introductory books on UNIX are available
known as the home directory. The command in bookstores and libraries.
% who > save_who
Commands writes the output of who into the file save_who.
Redirection using > will not overwrite an existing
You can enter UNIX commands by typing the
command after a prompt such as “%” and then file. To do that, use >!:
pressing the Return key. For example, type % who >! save_who
To append to the end of an existing file, use two
% ls
and then press the Return key. The ls command lists redirection characters ( >> ) instead of one ( > ).
the names of files in the current directory. The mkdir Output of one command may be used as input to
another command by using the pipe ( | ) symbol. For
command is used to create directories. For example,
% mkdir letters example,
creates a directory named letters. % who | wc –l
shows how many users are logged in by usign wc –l
Basic file manipulation commands include mv
for moving or renaming files, cp for copying files, lpr to count the lines in the output of who.
for printing files, and rm for removing files. The cd
command is used to change from one directory to
another. For example, the command
% cd letters
moves you to the letters subdirectory, and
% cd
moves you to your home direcory.