Software Testing Learning Hub

Most Useful Unix commands


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.     lsls
ls -alF
Lists files in current directory
List in long format
2.     cdcd tempdir
cd ..
cd ~dhyatt/web-docs
Change directory to tempdir
Move back one directory
Move into dhyatt’s web-docs directory
3.     mkdirmkdir graphicsMake a directory called graphics
4.     rmdirrmdir emptydirRemove directory (must be empty)
5.     cpcp file1 web-docs
cp file1 file1.bak
Copy file into directory
Make backup of file1
6.     rmrm file1.bak
rm *.tmp
Remove or delete file
Remove all file
7.     mvmv old.html new.htmlMove or rename files
8.     moremore index.htmlLook at file, one page at a time
9.     lprlpr index.htmlSend file to printer
10.   manman 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
2.     chmod <opt> <file>chmod 644 *.html
chmod 755 file.exe
Change file permissions read only
Change file permissions to executable
3.     passwdpasswdChange passwd
4.     ps <opt>ps aux
ps aux   |   grep dhyatt
List all running processes by #ID
List process #ID’s running by dhyatt
5.     kill <opt> <ID>kill -9 8453Kill process with ID #8453
6.     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++
7.     gzip <file>gzip bigfile
gunzip bigfile.gz
Compress file
Uncompress file
8.     mail
mail < file1
Send file1 by email to someone
Read mail using pine
9.     telnet <host>
ssh <host>
ssh -l dhyatt
Open a connection to vortex
Open a secure connection to jazz as user dhyatt
10.   ftp <host>
ncftp <host/directory>
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.     whowhoLists who is logged on your machine
2.     fingerfingerLists who is on computers in the lab
3.     ytalk <user@place>ytalk dhyatt@threatTalk online with dhyatt who is on threat
4.     historyhistoryLists commands you’ve done recently
5.     fortunefortunePrint random humerous message
6.     datedatePrint out current date
7.     cal <mo> <yr>cal 9 2000Print calendar for September 2000
8.     xeyesxeyes &Keep track of cursor (in “background”)
9.     xcalcxcalc &Calculator (“background” process)
10.   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.     netscapenetscape &Run Netscape browser
2.     xvxv &Run graphics file converter
3.     xfig / xpaintxfig & (xpaint &)Run drawing program
4.     gimpgimp &Run photoshop type program
5.     ispell <fname>ispell file1Spell check file1
6.     latex <fname>latex file.texRun LaTeX, a scientific document tool
7.     xemacs / picoxemacs (or pico)Different editors
8.     sofficesoffice &Run StarOffice, a full word processor
9.     m-tools (mdir, mcopy,
mdel, mformat, etc. )
mdir a:
mcopy file1   a:
DOS commands from UNIX (dir A:)
Copy file1 to A:
10.   gnuplotgnuplotPlot data graphically

Ten USEFUL UNIX Commands:

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

1.     dfdfSee how much free disk space
2.     dudu -b subdirEstimate disk usage of directory in Bytes
3.     aliasalias lls=”ls -alF”Create new command “lls” for long format of ls
4.     xhostxhost +
xhost –
Permit window to display from x-window program from threat
Allow no x-window access from other systems
5.     foldfold -s file1   |   lprFold or break long lines at 60 characters and send to printer
6.     tartar -cf subdir.tar subdir
tar -xvf subdir.tar
Create an archive called subdir.tar of a directory
Extract files from an archive file
7.     ghostview (gv)gv filename.psView a Postscript file
8.     ping
See if machine is alive
Print data path to a machine
9.     toptopPrint system usage and top resource hogs
10.   logout (exit)logout or exitHow to quit a UNIX shell.