Simple UNIX Commands
- Lists the files in the current directory.
ls -l gives more information about the files. -l stands for the
- Copies a file.
cp sample.c example.c makes a copy of sample.c and names the new
sample.c still exists.
- Renames a file.
mv average.c mean.c changes the name of the file from average.c to
average.c no longer exists.
- Removes or deletes a file.
rm olddata.dat would delete the file olddata.dat
- Types the contents of a file onto the screen one page at a time.
more example.txt would show the contents of the file example.txt
one screenfull at a time.
You must press the spacebar to advance to the next page. You may type q
to quit or b to go back to the beginning of the file.
- Displays the contents of a file onto the screen all at once. If the
file is too long to fit onto the screen, it scrolls. cat is also
used to combine two or more files.
cat mean.h just displays the contents of mean.h
cat mean.h counts.h > statistics.h concatenates the two files mean.h
and counts.h by tacking the contents of counts.h onto the end of mean.h and
calls the new, combined file statistics.h
mean.h and counts.h still exists in their original form.
- Makes a new subdirectory in the current directory.
mkdir 201 will make a new directory called 201 in the current
- Removes a subdirectory from the current directory, but the subdirectory
must contain no files. You must delete all of the files from a directory
before you are allowed to delete it.
- passwd is used to change your password. After typing passwd,
you will be prompted to enter your old password. Then you will be prompted
to enter your new password. After entering the new password, you will be
asked to enter the new password again. If the two versions of the new
password match (you didn't make a typo either time), your password has been
changed. NOTE: There is a system in place on the UMBC machines that will
not allow you to use passwords that are too common and easy to guess. You
may find that the system will not allow you to use your first choice in
passwords. Choose a different, stranger-looking password.
- The command cd alone will return you to your home directory.
cd followed by a directory name the is found in the current directory, as
cd 201, will change from the current directory to its subdirectory
called 201, if that subdirectory exists.
cd ~jdoe1 will change to the home directory of the user named
- cd ..
- Moves you up one level in the directory tree.
- Tells you the directory you are currently in
- Prints a file
lpr -Pacsps sample.txt would print the file called sample.txt on the
Academic Computing Services postscript printers found in Room ECS 019.
There is a charge per page for printing.
- Gives a description of a UNIX command and also C keywords and
functions. So man cat will tell you all about the cat command. If
you don't know the name of a command, but you do know what you want to do,
use man -k. If you've forgotten the command for copy, you could
type in man -k copy and you would be supplied with the name of the
command (in this case cp) and a description of how the command works.
- The finger command lets you get information about a user. If you know
their login name, finger jdoe1@gl will tell you if that person is
logged on, what programs they are running and how long they've been idle.
If they're not logged on, it will tell you when they were last logged on
and whether they have any unread mail. If you want to find a person's
email address, use finger like this: finger bogar In this case,
the finger command will give you two addresses, bogar@cs and sbogar1@gl.
If the person has a common name, you will get everyone with that name.
- Tells you the login names of all of the people that are currently
logged onto the same computer as you are. They are not in any order and
it will scroll off the screen.
- "The pipe" is used to combine commands. It "pipes" the output of one
command to be used as input to the next command. Here's a typical use of
the pipe. who|sort|more This will give you all of the people's
login names that are currently logged onto the same machine as you, in
sorted order, one page at a time.
- This command can be used to exchange short messages back and forth
with someone else who is logged on. You get a split screen. You type
within the top half and the other person's typing shows up in the bottom
half. Great for getting in touch with someone in one of the labs, or even
someone who is logged on from home. It is quite slow and bothersome.
Example: talk firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 29-Aug-1998 13:56:36 EDT