What are the basic Unix commands that one needs to know to use the linux cluster?

How to get online help

To find a command or library routine that performs a required function, try searching by keyword e.g.

man -k keyword
apropos keyword

Use “man command_name” to find details on how to use a unix command or library e.g.

man cat
man ls

If no man page is found, try “info command_name” e.g.

info module

Manipulating files and directories

  • ls
    List contents of current directory
  • cd
    Change directory
  • rm
    Remove file of directory
  • mkdir
    Make a new directory

Use the “man” command for more information on the above.

A few notes on Unix directory names.

A Unix file full path name is constructed of the directory and subdirectory names separated by slashes “/”. ie. /u/jsmith/work/file1.  When you first login you will be in your “home” directory at TPAC this is usually /u/username.  In most shells this can also be referenced as ~username.

For example if your username is asmith then “cd ~asmith/work” will take you to the “work” directory in your home directory.

All Unix full path names start with “/”, (There are no Drive/Volume names as in Windows). Hence any filename starting with “/” is a full pathname.

A filename containing one or more slashes “/” will refer to a subdirectory of the “current working directory”.  The current working directory may also be referenced as dot “.” i.e. ./subdirectory/file.

The parent of the “current working directory” may be referenced as dot-dot “..”.  For example if you have two directories in your home directory work1 and work2 and you cd to work1 you can then change to work2 by typing the command “cd ../work2”.