These are ten commands that you really need to know in order to get started with UNIX. They are probably similar to commands you already know for another operating system.


  1.    ls


ls –alF

Lists files in current directory

List in long format

  1.    cd

cd tempdir

cd ..

cd ~dhyatt/web-docs

Change directory to tempdir

Move back one directory

Move into dhyatt's web-docs directory

  1.    mkdir

mkdir graphicsMake a directory called graphics

  1.    rmdir

rmdir emptydirRemove directory (must be empty)

  1.    cp

cp file1 web-docs

cp file1 file1.bak

Copy file into directory

Make backup of file1

  1.    rm

rm file1.bak

rm *.tmp

Remove or delete file

Remove all file

  1.    mv

mv old.html new.htmlMove or rename files

  1.    more

more index.htmlLook at file, one page at a time

  1.    lpr

lpr index.htmlSend file to printer

  1.  man

man lsOnline manual (help) about command



Once you have mastered the basic UNIX commands, these will be quite valuable in managing your own account.


  1.    grep <str><files>

grep "bad word" *Find which files contain a certain word

  1.    chmod <opt> <file>

chmod 644 *.html

chmod 755 file.exe

Change file permissions read only

Change file permissions to executable

  1.    passwd

passwdChange passwd

  1.    ps <opt>

ps aux

ps -ef   |   grep java

List all running processes by #ID

List process #ID's running by java

  1.    kill <opt> <ID>

kill -9 8453Kill process with ID #8453

  1.    gcc (g++) <source>

gcc file.c -o file

g++ fil2.cpp -o fil2

Compile a program written in C

Compile a program written in C++

  1.    gzip <file>

gzip bigfile

gunzip bigfile.gz

Compress file

Uncompress file

  1.    mail


mail me@tjhsst.edu < file1


Send file1 by email to someone

Read mail using pine

  1.    telnet <host>

    ssh <host>

telnet vortex.tjhsst.edu

ssh -l dhyatt jazz.tjhsst.edu

Open a connection to vortex

Open a secure connection to jazz as user dhyatt

  1.  ftp <host>

    ncftp <host/directory>

ftp station1.tjhsst.edu

ncftp metalab.unc.edu

Upload or Download files to station1

Connect to archives at UNC


Ten FUN UNIX Commands

These are ten commands that you might find interesting or amusing. They are actually quite helpful at times, and should not be considered idle entertainment.


  1.    who

whoLists who is logged on your machine

  1.    finger

fingerLists who is on computers in the lab

  1.    ytalk <user@place>

ytalk dhyatt@threatTalk online with dhyatt who is on threat

  1.    history

historyLists commands you've done recently

  1.    fortune

fortunePrint random humerous message

  1.    date

datePrint out current date

  1.    cal <mo> <yr>

cal 9 2000Print calendar for September 2000

  1.    xeyes

xeyes &Keep track of cursor (in "background")

  1.    xcalc

xcalc &Calculator ("background" process)

  1.  mpage <opt> <file>

mpage -8 file1   |  lprPrint 8 pages on a single sheet and send to printer (the font will be small!)



These ten commands are very helpful, especially with graphics and word processing type applications.


  1.    netscape

netscape &Run Netscape browser

  1.    xv

xv &Run graphics file converter

  1.    xfig / xpaint

xfig & (xpaint &)Run drawing program

  1.    gimp

gimp &Run photoshop type program

  1.    ispell <fname>

ispell file1Spell check file1

  1.    latex <fname>

latex file.texRun LaTeX, a scientific document tool

  1.    xemacs / pico

xemacs (or pico)Different editors

  1.    soffice

soffice &Run StarOffice, a full word processor

  1.    m-tools (mdir, mcopy,

    mdel, mformat, etc. )

mdir a:

mcopy file1   a:

DOS commands from UNIX (dir A:)

Copy file1 to A:

  1.  gnuplot

gnuplotPlot data graphically


Ten USEFUL UNIX Commands:

These ten commands are useful for monitoring system access, or simplifying your own environment.


  1.    df

dfSee how much free disk space

  1.    du

du -b subdirEstimate disk usage of directory in Bytes

  1.    alias

alias lls="ls -alF"Create new command "lls" for long format of ls

  1.    xhost

xhost + threat.tjhsst.edu

xhost -

Permit window to display from x-window program from threat

Allow no x-window access from other systems

  1.    fold

fold -s file1   |   lprFold or break long lines at 60 characters and send to printer

  1.    tar

tar -cf subdir.tar subdir

tar -xvf subdir.tar

Create an archive called subdir.tar of a directory

Extract files from an archive file

  1.    ghostview (gv)

gv filename.psView a Postscript file

  1.    ping


ping threat.tjhsst.edu

traceroute www.yahoo.com

See if machine is alive

Print data path to a machine

  1.    top

topPrint system usage and top resource hogs

  1.  logout (exit)

logout or exitHow to quit a UNIX shell.


To check your disk utilization on Solaris or Linux, use the iostat -D <interval> command, where the interval value determines how many seconds you want to elapse between monitoring cycles. To check your CPU utilization, simply leave off the -D flag (iostat <interval>).

For Windows, use the Performance Monitor tool (perfmon), to monitor both your disk and CPU utilization.


TCP (transmission control protocol) socket performance, set the tcp_time_wait_interval parameter as follows:

ndd -set /dev/tcp tcp_time_wait_interval 60000


Check the amount of data transferred between the application and the application server, and between the application server and the database server.

netstat -s -P tcp


Use Kill -3 PID, where PID is the root of the process tree.

To obtain the root PID, perform a: ps -efHl | grep 'java' **. **


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