Commonly used Unix commands


The following is a short list of Unix commands most users will need. For more information, try man command.

Starting and Ending

login: `Logging in'
telnet: Connect to another machine
logout: `Logging out'

File Management

vi: `Using the vi text editor'
mkdir: `Creating a directory'
cd: `Changing your current working directory'
ls: `Finding out what files you have'
cp: `Making a copy of a file'
mv: `Changing the name of a file'
rm: `Getting rid of unwanted files'
chmod: `Controlling access to your files'
cmp: Comparing two files
wc: Word, line, and character count
compress: Compress a file


mail: `Mail the basics'
talk: Talk to another user
write: Write messages to another user
ftp: `Transferring files with ftp'


man: Manual pages
scosh: `Using the personal organizer'
finger: Getting information about a user
passwd: Changing your password
who: Finding out who's logged on


lpr: `Printing'
lprm: Removing a print job
lpq: Checking the print queues

Job control

ps: `Finding your processes'
kill: `Killing a process'
nohup: Continuing a job after logout
nice: Changing the priority of a job
&: What is a background process?

Comments and suggestions always welcome - tom@tkrh.demon.co.uk