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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

cu Connect to UNIX system.
ftp File transfer protocol.
login Sign on to UNIX.
mailx Read or send mail.
rlogin Sign on to remote UNIX.
talk Write to other terminals.
telnet Connect to another system.
vacation Respond to mail automatically.
write Write to other terminals.

1.4.2 Comparisons

cmp Compare two files.
comm Compare items in files.
diff Compare two files.
diff3 Compare three files.
dircmp Compare directories.
sdiff Compare two files, side by side.

1.4.3 File Management

cat Join files or display them.
cd Change directory.
chmod Change access modes on files.
cp Copy files.
csplit Break files at specific locations.
file Determine a file's type.
head Show the first few lines of a file.
install Set up system files.
ln Create filename aliases.
ls List files or directories.
mkdir Create a directory.
more Display files by screenful.
mv Move or rename files or directories.
pwd Print your working directory.
rcp Copy files to remote system.
rm Remove files.
rmdir Remove directories.
split Split files evenly.
tail Show the last few lines of a file.
wc Count lines, words, and characters.

1.4.4 Miscellaneous

banner Make posters from words.
bc Precision calculator.
cal Display calendar.
calendar Check for reminders.
clear Clear the screen.
kill Terminate a running command.
man Get information on a command.
nice Reduce a job's priority.
nohup Preserve a job after logging out.
passwd Set password.
script Produce a transcript of your login session.
spell Report misspelled words.
su Become a superuser.

1.4.5 Printing

cancel Cancel a printer request.
lp Send to the printer.
lpstat Get printer status.
pr Format and paginate for printing.

1.4.6 Programming

cb C source code "beautifier."
cc C compiler.
cflow C function flowchart.
ctags C function references.
ctrace C debugger.
cxref C cross-references.
lint C debugger.
ld Link editor.
lex Lexical analyzer.
make Execute commands in a specified order.
od Dump input in various formats.
sdb Symbolic debugger.
strip Remove data from an object file.
truss Trace signals and system calls.
yacc Compiler used with lex.

1.4.7 Searching

egrep Extended version of grep .
fgrep Search files for literal words.
find Search the system for filenames.
grep Search files for text patterns.
strings Search binary files for text patterns.

1.4.8 Shell Programming

echo Repeat input on the output.
expr Perform arithmetic and comparisons.
line Read a line of input.
sleep Pause during processing.
test Test a condition.

1.4.9 Storage

compress Compress files to free up space.
cpio Copy archives in or out.
pack Pack files to free up space.
pcat Display contents of packed files.
tar Tape archiver.
uncompress Expand compressed ( .Z ) files.
unpack Expand packed ( .z ) files.
zcat Display contents of compressed files.

1.4.10 System Status

at Execute commands later.
chgrp Change file group.
chown Change file owner.
crontab Automate commands.
date Display or set date.
df Show free disk space.
du Show disk usage.
env Show environment variables.
finger Point out information about users.
ps Show processes.
ruptime Show loads on working systems.
shutdown Revert to single-user mode.
stty Set or display terminal settings.
who Show who is logged on.

1.4.11 Text Processing

cut Select columns for display.
ex Line-editor underlying vi.
fmt Produce roughly uniform line lengths.
fold Produce exactly uniform line lengths.
join Merge different columns into a database.
nawk New version of awk (pattern-matching language for database files).
paste Merge columns or switch order.
sed Noninteractive text editor.
sort Sort or merge files.
tr Translate (redefine) characters.
uniq Find repeated or unique lines in a file.
vi Visual text editor.
xargs Process many arguments in manageable portions.

1.4.12 Troff

All but deroff are in the compatibility packages.

deroff Remove troff codes.
eqn Preprocessor for equations.
nroff Formatter for terminal display.
pic Preprocessor for line graphics.
tbl Preprocessor for tables.
troff Formatter for typesetting.

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