Before you start
Learn what to expect from this tutorial and how to get the most out of it.
This series of tutorials provides a concise introduction to basic UNIX® concepts, written for the perspective of a new user. The three
previous tutorials in the series provided a brush-up on UNIX systems geared toward new users coming from a Microsoft® Windows® background, describing the file system and common commands, an introduction to
vi (the most ubiquitous of UNIX editors), and a quick primer on filters and regular expressions using the
This tutorial provides a collection of shell tricks and tips that are handy for new users. It shows how to automate special situations using small scripts written in the Bourne shell, including automatic base conversion, reading keyboard input, executing commands in a subshell, executing commands on all the files in a directory, and various forms of looping. The tutorial concludes with a collection of useful shell one-liners.
The objective of this tutorial is to show new users how to use and implement many of the shell's methods for providing automation at various levels. It demonstrates these methods by giving tricks and tips for special situations, and it also presents a rundown of useful shell one-liners for common tasks.
This tutorial is written for users who are relatively new to UNIX. The only prerequisites are basic knowledge of the UNIX file system and the commands to manipulate it, the command line itself, and editing text files with an editor, such as
vi. All of these concepts are fully described in the previous tutorials of this series.
You need user-level access to a UNIX system with a Bourne-compatible shell environment, such as the popular
bash shell. This is the only system requirement for this tutorial.