Some Basic Unix Commands

Software Testing

Some Basic Unix Commands

Manytime Tester/QA should know the Unix commands to look for issues on servers. here are basic Unix commands which may help QA/Tester.

Banner command.

banner prints characters in a sort of ascii art poster, for example to print wait in big letters.

Man ual command.

man man This is help command, and will explains you about online manual pages you can also use man in conjunction with any command to learn more about that command for example.

man ls will explain about the ls command and how you can use it.

man -k pattern command will search for the pattern in given command.

Cal command
cal command will print the calendar on current month by default.

Clear command

clear command clears the screen and puts cursor at beginning of first line.

Calendar command 

calendar command reads your calendar file and displays only lines with current day.

Nohup command. 

nohup command if added in front of any command will continue running the command or process even if you shut down your terminal or close your session to machine.

Tty command

Tty command will display your terminal. Syntax is tty options

-l will print the synchronous line number.
-s will return only the codes: 0 (a terminal), 1 (not a terminal), 2 (invalid options) (good for scripts)


File Management commands.

Pwd command. 

pwd command will print your home directory on screen, pwd means print working directory.

Ls command

ls command is most widely used command and it displays the contents of directory.
ls will list all the files in your home directory, this command has many options.
ls -l will list all the file names, permissions, group, etc in long format.
ls -a will list all the files including hidden files that start with . .
ls -lt will list all files names based on the time of creation, newer files bring first.
ls -Fxwill list files and directory names will be followed by slash.
ls -Rwill lists all the files and files in the all the directories, recursively.
ls -R | more will list all the files and files in all the directories, one page at a time.

Mkdir command. 

mkdir sandeep will create new directory, i.e. here sandeep directory is created.

Cd command.

cd sandeep will change directory from current directory to sandeep directory.
Use pwd to check your current directory and ls to see if sandeep directory is there or not.
You can then use cd sandeep to change the directory to this new directory.

Cat command 
cat cal.txt cat command displays the contents of a file here cal.txt on screen (or standard out).

Head command.

head filename by default will display the first 10 lines of a file.

Tail command.

tail filename by default will display the last 10 lines of a file.
If you want last 20 lines then you can use tail -20 filename.

Wc command 

wc command counts the characters, words or lines in a file depending upon the option.

wc -l filename will print total number of lines in a file.
wc -w filename will print total number of words in a file.
wc -c filename will print total number of characters in a file.

File command.

File command displays about the contents of a given file, whether it is a text (Ascii) or binary file. To use it type
file filename.

Cp command. 

cp command copies a file. If I want to copy a file named oldfile in a current directory to a file named newfile in a current directory.
cp oldfile newfile
If I want to copy oldfile to other directory for example /tmp then
cp oldfile /tmp/newfile. Useful options available with cp are -p and -r . -p options preserves the modification time and permissions, -r recursively copy a directory and its files, duplicating the tree structure.

Rcp command. 

rcp command will copy files between two unix systems and works just like cp command (-p and -i options too).
For example you are on a unix system that is called Cheetah and want to copy a file which is in current directory to a system that is called lion in /usr/john/ directory then you can use rcp command
rcp filename lion:/usr/john
You will also need permissions between the two machines. For more infor type man rcp at command line.

Mv command. 

mv command is used to move a file from one directory to another directory or to rename a file.
Some examples:
mv oldfile newfile will rename oldfile to newfile.
mv -i oldfile newfile for confirmation prompt.
mv -f oldfile newfile will force the rename even if target file exists.
mv * /usr/bajwa/ will move all the files in current directory to /usr/bajwa directory.

Ln command. 

Instead of copying you can also make links to existing files using ln command.
If you want to create a link to a file called coolfile in /usr/local/bin directory then you can enter this command.
ln mycoolfile /usr/local/bin/coolfile

Some examples:
ln -s fileone filetwo will create a symbolic link and can exist across machines.
ln -n option will not overwrite existing files.
ln -f will force the link to occur.

Rm command. 

To delete files use rm command.

rm oldfile will delete file named oldfile.
rm -f option will remove write-protected files without prompting.
rm -r option will delete the entire directory as well as all the subdirectories, very dangerous command.

Rmdir command.

rmdir command will remove directory or directories if a directory is empty.

rm -r directory_name will remove all files even if directory is not empty.
rmdir sandeep is how you use it to remove sandeep directory.
rmdir -p will remove directories and any parent directories that are empty.
rmdir -s will suppress standard error messages caused by -p.


Comparison and Searching

Diff command.
diff command will compare the two files and print out the differences between.

Cmp command.
cmp command compares the two files.

Dircmp Command.

dircmp command compares two directories.

Grep Command
grep command is the most useful search command. You can use it to find processes running on system, to find a pattern in a file, etc. It can be used to search one or more files to match an expression.
It can also be used in conjunction with other commands as in this following example, output of ps command is passed to grep command, here it means search all processes in system and find the pattern sleep.
ps -ef | grep sleep will display all the sleep processes running in the system


Find command.
Find command is a extremely useful command. you can search for any file anywhere using this command provided that file and directory you are searching has read write attributes set to you ,your, group or all. Find descends directory tree beginning at each pathname and finds the files that meet the specified conditions.

conditions of find

-atime +n |-n| n will find files that were last accessed more than n or less than -n days or n days.
-ctime +n or -n will find that were changed +n -n or n days ago.
-depth descend the directory structure, working on actual files first and then directories. You can use it with cpio command.
-exec commad {} \; run the Unix command on each file matched by find. Very useful condition.
-print print or list to standard output (screen).
-name pattern find the pattern.
-perm nnnfind files whole permission flags match octal number nnn.
-size n find files that contain n blocks.
-type c Find file whole type is c. C could be b or block, c Character special file, d directory, p fifo or named pipe, l symbolic link, or f plain file.


Text processing

Cut command.
cut command selects a list of columns or fields from one or more files.
Option -c is for columns and -f for fields. It is entered as
cut options [files]

-c list cut the column positions identified in list.
-f list will cut the fields identified in list.
-s could be used with -f to suppress lines without delimiters.


Paste Command.
paste command merge the lines of one or more files into vertical columns separated by a tab.

-d’char’ separate columns with char instead of a tab.
-s merge subsequent lines from one file.


Sort command.
sort command sort the lines of a file or files, in alphabetical order.

-b ignores leading spaces and tabs.
-c checks whether files are already sorted.
-d ignores punctuation.
-i ignores non-printing characters.
-n sorts in arithmetic order.
-ofile put output in a file.
+m[-m] skips n fields before sorting, and sort upto field position m.
-r reverse the order of sort.
-u identical lines in input file apear only one time in output.

Uniq command.

uniq command removes duplicate adjacent lines from sorted file while sending one copy of each second file.

-c print each line once, counting instances of each.
-d print duplicate lines once, but no unique lines.
-u print only unique lines.

Awk and Nawk command.

awk is more like a scripting language builtin on all unix systems. Although mostly used for text processing, etc.
Here are some examples which are connected with other commands.

Sed command.

sed command launches a stream line editor which you can use at command line.
you can enter your sed commands in a file and then using -f option edit your text file. It works as
sed [options] files
-e ‘instruction’ Apply the editing instruction to the files.
-f script Apply the set of instructions from the editing script.
-n suppress default output.

Vi editor.

vi command launches a vi sual editor. To edit a file type
vi filename
vi editor is a default editor of all Unix systems. It has several modes. In order to write characters you will need to hit i to be in insert mode and then start typing. Make sure that your terminal has correct settings, vt100 emulation works good if you are logged in using pc.
Once you are done typing then to be in command mode where you can write/search/ you need to hit :w filename to write
and in case you are done writing and want to exit
:w! will write and exit.
i for insert mode.
I inserts text at the curson
A appends text at the end of the line.
a appends text after cursor.
O open a new line of text above the curson.
o open a new line of text below the curson.
: for command mode.
<escape> to invoke command mode from insert mode.
:!sh to run unix commands.
x to delete a single character.
dd to delete an entire line
ndd to delete n number of lines.
d$ to delete from cursor to end of line.
yy to copy a line to buffer.
P to paste text from buffer.
nyy copy n number of lines to buffer.
:%s/stringA/stringb /g to replace stringA with stringB in whole file.
G to go to last line in file.
1G to go to the first line in file.
w to move forward to next word.
b to move backwards to next word.
$ to move to the end of line.
J join a line with the one below it.
/string to search string in file.
n to search for next occurence of string.

more unix commands are coming…

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