UNIX Essentials

This course will be based on BASH in a Linux environment, but most of it will port well to other shells and flavours of UNIX.

  • Introduction
    • How is UNIX different from Windows?
    • Users and groups
  • Hello World
    • echo — printing text
  • BASH
    • Tab completion
    • Configuration
    • Command history
    • Getting help
  • Files and Directories
    • cd — change directory (~, . and ..)
    • pwd — current directory
    • ls — listing files and directories
    • cat, head, tail, more and less — ways to view file contents
    • wc — couting words and lines
    • mv and cp — moving and copying
    • rm — deleting
    • rmdir and mkdir
    • chown and chmod — ownership and permissions
    • locate and find — tracking down files
  • Editor
    • vi
  • File Processing
    • grep — searching for patterns
    • sed — stream editing
    • awk — Swiss army knife for file processing
  • Pipes and Redirection
    • stdout and stderr
    • >, >& and >>
  • Processes
    • ps — list processes
    • bg and fg
    • kill — terminate processes
  • Archives
    • tar
    • Compression
  • Shell variables
    • HOME
    • PATH
  • Shell customisation
    • Prompt
    • History
  • Scheduling

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Training Philosophy

Our training emphasises practical skills. So, although you'll be learning concepts and theory, you'll see how everything is applied in the real world. We will work through examples and exercises based on real datasets.


All you'll need is a computer with a browser and a decent internet connection. We'll be using an online development environment. This means that you can focus on learning and not on solving technical problems.

Of course, we are happy to help you get your local environment set up too! You can start by following these instructions.


The training package includes access to
  • our online development environment and
  • detailed course material (slides and scripts).

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