Before you start
Learn what to expect from this tutorial, and how to get the most out of it.
This four-part tutorial series covers UNIX® basics from a user
perspective. This initial tutorial is a good brush-up for users who have been away from
UNIX-like operating systems for some time. It's also useful for brand-new UNIX users coming from a Windows®
background, because it uses references and comparisons to Windows.
Later tutorials in the series will cover specific applications
vi, for instance) in detail and discuss shell tricks and tips.
Systems administrators can use a number of programs to maintain
files in a UNIX system from the command line. More exist than the basic
ones demonstrated here, but they're all fundamental parts of
your UNIX system. You can use the
to reposition and rename files and
cp command duplicates one or more
files or directories. An application called
tar can quickly group files together
into a single archive. This tutorial also discusses traversing the file system,
dealing with file permissions, and simple input/output so that new UNIX
users have a base to work from.
The objective of this tutorial is to make new UNIX users comfortable moving around on the command line and dealing with files. It focuses on common command-line utilities that manipulate files, but file permissions and input/output are also discussed to give you a complete picture of commands you need to use on a day-to-day basis.
You need a basic understanding of computers and files for this tutorial, but no experience in a UNIX-like operating system is expected. You should understand what directories (folders) and files are and be able to log in to your account on a UNIX-like operating system. If you're familiar with the DOS or Microsoft® Windows command line, you'll notice similarities, but users who have never used any sort of command line will do just fine.
Access to a user account on any computer running any UNIX-like operating system is all you need to complete this tutorial. UNIX-like operating systems include the IBM AIX® operating system, Linux®, Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), and Mac OS® X (using Terminal to access the command line), among many others.