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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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1.4 Beginner's Guide

If you're just beginning to work on a UNIX system, the abundance of commands might prove daunting. To help orient you, the following tables present a small sampling of commands on various topics.

1.4.1 Communication

cuConnect to UNIX system.
ftpFile transfer protocol.
loginSign on to UNIX.
mailxRead or send mail.
rloginSign on to remote UNIX.
talkWrite to other terminals.
telnetConnect to another system.
vacationRespond to mail automatically.
writeWrite to other terminals.

1.4.2 Comparisons

cmpCompare two files.
commCompare items in files.
diffCompare two files.
diff3Compare three files.
dircmpCompare directories.
sdiffCompare two files, side by side.

1.4.3 File Management

catJoin files or display them.
cdChange directory.
chmodChange access modes on files.
cpCopy files.
csplitBreak files at specific locations.
fileDetermine a file's type.
headShow the first few lines of a file.
installSet up system files.
lnCreate filename aliases.
lsList files or directories.
mkdirCreate a directory.
moreDisplay files by screenful.
mvMove or rename files or directories.
pwdPrint your working directory.
rcpCopy files to remote system.
rmRemove files.
rmdirRemove directories.
splitSplit files evenly.
tailShow the last few lines of a file.
wcCount lines, words, and characters.

1.4.4 Miscellaneous

bannerMake posters from words.
bcPrecision calculator.
calDisplay calendar.
calendarCheck for reminders.
clearClear the screen.
killTerminate a running command.
manGet information on a command.
niceReduce a job's priority.
nohupPreserve a job after logging out.
passwdSet password.
scriptProduce a transcript of your login session.
spellReport misspelled words.
suBecome a superuser.

1.4.5 Printing

cancelCancel a printer request.
lpSend to the printer.
lpstatGet printer status.
prFormat and paginate for printing.

1.4.6 Programming

cbC source code "beautifier."
ccC compiler.
cflowC function flowchart.
ctagsC function references.
ctraceC debugger.
cxrefC cross-references.
lintC debugger.
ldLink editor.
lexLexical analyzer.
makeExecute commands in a specified order.
odDump input in various formats.
sdbSymbolic debugger.
stripRemove data from an object file.
trussTrace signals and system calls.
yaccCompiler used with lex.

1.4.7 Searching

egrepExtended version of grep.
fgrepSearch files for literal words.
findSearch the system for filenames.
grepSearch files for text patterns.
stringsSearch binary files for text patterns.

1.4.8 Shell Programming

echoRepeat input on the output.
exprPerform arithmetic and comparisons.
lineRead a line of input.
sleepPause during processing.
testTest a condition.

1.4.9 Storage

compressCompress files to free up space.
cpioCopy archives in or out.
packPack files to free up space.
pcatDisplay contents of packed files.
tarTape archiver.
uncompressExpand compressed (.Z) files.
unpackExpand packed (.z) files.
zcatDisplay contents of compressed files.

1.4.10 System Status

atExecute commands later.
chgrpChange file group.
chownChange file owner.
crontabAutomate commands.
dateDisplay or set date.
dfShow free disk space.
duShow disk usage.
envShow environment variables.
fingerPoint out information about users.
psShow processes.
ruptimeShow loads on working systems.
shutdownRevert to single-user mode.
sttySet or display terminal settings.
whoShow who is logged on.

1.4.11 Text Processing

cutSelect columns for display.
exLine-editor underlying vi.
fmtProduce roughly uniform line lengths.
foldProduce exactly uniform line lengths.
joinMerge different columns into a database.
nawkNew version of awk (pattern-matching language for database files).
pasteMerge columns or switch order.
sedNoninteractive text editor.
sortSort or merge files.
trTranslate (redefine) characters.
uniqFind repeated or unique lines in a file.
viVisual text editor.
xargsProcess many arguments in manageable portions.

1.4.12 Troff

All but deroff are in the compatibility packages.

deroffRemove troff codes.
eqnPreprocessor for equations.
nroffFormatter for terminal display.
picPreprocessor for line graphics.
tblPreprocessor for tables.
troffFormatter for typesetting.

Previous: 1.3 What's in the Quick RefUNIX in a Nutshell: System V EditionNext: 1.5 Guide for Users of BSD-derived Systems
1.3 What's in the Quick RefBook Index1.5 Guide for Users of BSD-derived Systems

The UNIX CD Bookshelf NavigationThe UNIX CD BookshelfUNIX Power ToolsUNIX in a NutshellLearning the vi Editorsed & awkLearning the Korn ShellLearning the UNIX Operating System