A Basic UNIX Tutorial
This tutorial comprises fourteen sections, each of which addresses a fundamental aspect of UNIX
computing. It concentrates on illustrating the central concepts by providing short explanations, along
with examples, and exercises.
This tutorial covers the "Introduction to UNIX" and "Intermediate UNIX" workshops offered
by the Idaho State University Computer Center. Check the ISU workshop schedule to see
when the workshops are offered.
Table of Contents
What Is UNIX?
A broad description of the UNIX operating system.
Accessing UNIX Systems
General methods of accessing UNIX computers.
Logging In and Logging Out
Gaining access to your UNIX account.
The UNIX Shell
How to enter UNIX commands.
Files and Directories
Storing and manipulating files.
How to manage input and output.
Pipelines and Filters
Creating processing pipelines.
Processes and Multitasking
Interaction and Job Control
More on managing processes.
Text Editing with Emacs
Creating and editing text files with the emacs editor.
The Execution Environment
The environment under which shell commands and programs run.
Customizing the Shell
Personalizing your UNIX shell environment.
Interactive Use of the Shell
Tips and tricks to enhance your efficiency with the command line interface.
The UNIX Filesystem
A closer look at UNIX files and directories.
IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY
Revised: February 5, 1997
Author: Jonathan Byrd
Section 1: What Is Unix?
Unix is an operating system. The job of an operating system is to orchestrate the various parts of the
computer -- the processor, the on-board memory, the disk drives, keyboards, video monitors, etc. --
to perform useful tasks. The operating system is the master controller of the computer, the glue that
holds together all the components of the system, including the administrators, programmers, and
users. When you want the computer to do something for you, like sta