UNIX Primer

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Welcome to the CIS UNIX Primer. This guide is designed to get you familiarized with UNIX-based operating systems.

Since different people have different levels of knowledge, this primer offers multiple ways of accessing content.

  1. Proceed in a lesson-by-lesson format.
  2. Jump to a particular command description.
  3. Get the answer to a specific question.

It is recommended that beginners start with the provided basic lessons. Those should provide you with 'just enough' to get by.
If you continue on to the advanced lessons, you will become a more competent user. At the very least, you should read through the first few advanced lessons, which are not very difficult and extremely useful.

LessonsAdvanced Lessons Commonly Asked Questions
Lesson 1What is UNIX?
Lesson 2The Shell
Lesson 3Files
Lesson 4Directories
Lesson 5The Filesystem
Lesson 6Fun with Filenames
Lesson 7Manipulating Files
Lesson 8Cleaning Up
Lesson 9Quotas
Lesson 10Printing
Lesson 11Mail and Newsgroups
Lesson 12Connecting Remotely
Lesson 13Running Java Programs
Advanced 1The Manual
Advanced 2Getting System Information
Advanced 3Playing With Processes
Advanced 4Permissions
Advanced 5Redirection
Advanced 6Piping
Advanced 7Links
Advanced 8Archiving Files
Advanced 9Regular Expressions
Advanced 10Other Useful Commands
Why does it keep telling me that my password is incorrect?
What does it mean when I get a permission denied error?
My files are disappearing! Help me!
What do I do if it says that it can't write a file or that my quota has been exceeded?
Oh no! I just deleted a file by accident. Can I get it back?
Can I change my password?
What is all that stuff that shows up when I type 'ls -l'?
How do I rename a file?
alias, bg, cat, cd, chmod, chown, cp, cut, du, exit, fg, finger, grep, hostname, java, javac, javadoc, kill, less, ln, logout, lpr, ls, man, mkdir, more, mv, mvquota, passwd, printqueue, ps, pwd, quota, raisequota, rm, rmdir, scp, ssh, ssh2, sort, talk, tar, touch, umask, unalias, w, who, whoami

Designed by D. Kaminsky
Edited by Diana Palsetia
© University of Pennsylvania, 2008