Intro to Unix

Basic Unix Commands

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to simple Unix commands that you can enter at the shell prompt.

After you log in, you are in the Unix shell in the Unix window. You see a Unix prompt. You are ready to issue Unix commands.

Here are some sessions demonstrating basic Unix commands.

The command in these examples follows the Unix prompt ($). Don't type the prompt itself. Your prompt might look slightly different. These examples show what happens when I type these commands at my Unix prompt. You can see these commands defined and demonstrated in this command summary. But at this point, just look at the general idea of entering commands and getting output.

$ date
Tue Dec 19 21:16:03 CST 2000 
$ uname
Linux
$ cal
   December 2000
 S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
                1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                        
$ cal 02 2001
   February 2001
 S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
             1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28
$ whatis whatis
whatis  whatis (1) - display a one-line summary about a keyword
$ whatis man
man     man (1)    - find and display reference manual pages
$ 

Now, it would be very boring if all we could do with our Unix account is issue commands like this that tell us things. To really get something done in Unix, we want to make use of files and directories. To do this, we need to understand a bit more about the anatomy of a Unix command and the Unix file system.

Exercise: Try out basic Unix commands

Login to your Unix account and try out the commands in this lesson. What output do you get?

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2017-05-11 · John December · Contact · Terms of Use © December Communications, Inc.