Unix Commands

Unix Commands

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. Banner command.
banner prints characters in a sort of ascii art poster, for example to print wait in big letters. I will type
banner wait at unix command line or in my script. This is how it will look.
#    #    ##       #     #####
 #    #   #  #      #       #
 #    #  #    #     #       #
 # ## #  ######     #       #
 ##  ##  #    #     #       #
 #    #  #    #     #       #

August 1965
 S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7
 8  9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

12/20   Test new software.
1/15    Test newly developed 3270 product.
1/20    Install memory on HP 9000 machine.
On dec 20th the first line will be displayed. you can use this command with your crontab file or in your login files.

  • -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)

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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. 
mkdir sandeep will create new directory, i.e. here sandeep directory is created. 
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.
If you want first 50 lines you can use head -50 filename or for 37 lines head -37 filename and so forth. 
Tail command.
tail filename by default will display the last 10 lines of a file.
If you want last 50 lines then you can use tail -50 filename
More command. more command will display a page at a time and then wait for input which is spacebar. For example if you have a file which is 500 lines and you want to read it all. So you can use 
more filename 
Wc command
wc command counts the characters, words or lines in a file depending upon the option. 
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. For example I have cal.txt which has ascii characters about calander of current month and I have resume1.doc file which is a binariy file in microsoft word. I will get
file resume.doc 
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. 
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 
Rm command.
To delete files use rm command. 
Rmdir command.
rmdir command will remove directory or directories if a directory is empty. 
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is output for the command when I use pwd in /u0/ssb/sandeep directory.

resume1.doc:    data   
file cal.txt 
cal.txt:        ascii text

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This is first file 
this is second line
this is third line
this is different    as;lkdjf 
this is not different

filetwo contains 
This is first file
this is second line
this is third line
this is different    xxxxxxxas;lkdjf
this is not different

diff fileone filetwo will give following output
< this is different    as;lkdjf
> this is different    xxxxxxxas;lkdjf

fileone filetwo differ: char 80, line 4 

if I run cmp command on similar files nothing is returned.
-s command can be used to return exit codes. i.e. return 0 if files are identical, 1 if files are different, 2 if files are inaccessible.
This following command prints a message 'no changes' if files are same
cmp -s fileone file1 && echo 'no changes' .
no changes

Dec  9 16:06 1997  dirone only and dirtwo only Page 1
./cal.txt                                   ./fourth.txt
./dohazaar.txt                              ./rmt.txt
./four.txt                                  ./te.txt
./junk.txt                                  ./third.txt

ops 12964 25853  0 16:12:24 ttyAE/AAES  0:00 sleep 60
     dxi 12974 15640  0 16:12:25 ttyAH/AAHP  0:00 sleep 60
     ops 12941 25688  0 16:12:21 ttyAE/AAEt  0:00 sleep 60
     ops 12847 25812  0 16:11:59 ttyAH/AAH6  0:00 sleep 60
     ops 12894 25834  0 16:12:12 ttyAE/AAEX  0:00 sleep 60
     dxi 13067 27253  2 16:12:48 ttyAE/ABEY  0:00 sleep 1
     ops 13046 25761  0 16:12:44 ttyAE/AAE0  0:00 sleep 60
     dxi 12956 13078  0 16:12:23 ttyAG/AAG+  0:00 sleep 60
     ops 12965 25737  0 16:12:24 ttyAE/AAEp  0:00 sleep 60
     ops 12989 25778  0 16:12:28 ttyAH/AAHv  0:00 sleep 60
     ssb 13069 26758  2 16:12:49 ttyAH/AAHs  0:00 grep sleep
     pjk 27049  3353  0 15:20:23 ?           0:00 sleep 3600
  • -b option will precede each line with its block number.
  • -c option will only print the count of matched lines.
  • -i ignores uppercase and lowercase distinctions.
  • -l lists filenames but not matched lines.
other associated commands with grep are egrep and fgrep. egrep typically runs faster. for more information type man egrep or man fgrep in your system.

  • -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 or block, c Character special file, ddirectory, p fifo or named pipe, l symbolic link, or f plain file.
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this is firstline
this is secondline
this is thirdline
cut -c1,4 testfile will print this to standard output (screen)
It is printing columns 1 and 4 of this file which contains t and s (part of this).
  • -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.

this is firstline
and a file named testfile2 contains
this is testfile2
then running this command
paste testfile testfile2 > outputfile
will put this into outputfile
this is firstline       this is testfile2 
it contains contents of both files in columns.
who | paste - - will list users in two columns.
  • -d'char' separate columns with char instead of a tab.
  • -s merge subsequent lines from one file.

Then running
sort testfile
will give us output of
  • -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.

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

  • -e 'instruction' Apply the editing instruction to the files.
  • -f script Apply the set of instructions from the editing script.
  • -n suppress default output.

for more information about sed, enter man sed at command line in your system.

  • i for insert mode.
    • I inserts text at the curson
    • appends text at the end of the line.
    • appends text after cursor.
    • 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.

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Shell programming,bourne shellkshcshecho,line,sleeptest,cc compiler.

Shell programming concepts and commands.
Shell programming is integral part of Unix operating systems. Shell is command line userinterface to Unix operating system, User have an option of picking an interface on Unix such as ksh, csh, or default sh., these are called shells(interface). Shell programming is used to automate many tasks. Shell programming is not a programming language in the truest sense of word since it is not compiled but rather an interpreted language. Unix was written in C language and thus c language is integral part of unix and available on all versions. Shells, like ksh and csh are popular shells on unix although there are 5 or 6 different shells available but I will only be discussing ksh and csh as well as sh. Common features among all shells are job control, for example if I am running a processes which is searching the whole system for .Z files and output is directed to a file named compressedfiles. 
Bourne Shell (sh shell).
sh or Bourne shell is default shell of Unix operating systems and is the most simplest shell in Unix systems. 
Ksh shell (Korn).
Ksh or Korn shell is widely used shell. 
Csh or C shell
csh is second most used shell. 
Echo command
echo command in shell programming. 
Line command.
line command in shell programming. 
Sleep command.
sleep command in shell programming. 
Test Command.
test command in shell programming. 
CC compiler (c programming language compiler).
Since Unix is itself written in C programming language, most Unix operating systems come with c compiler called cc. 
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cu,ftp,loginrlogin,talk,telnetvacation and write .

Cu command.
cu command is used for communications over a modem or direct line with another Unix system.
Syntax is
cu options destination 
Ftp command (protocol).
ftp command is used to execute ftp protocol using which files are transferred over two systems.
Syntax is
ftp options hostname 
Login command.
login command invokes a login session to a Unix system, which then authenticates the login to a system. System prompts you to enter userid and password. 
Rlogin command.
rlogin command is used to log on to remote Unix systems, user must have permissions on both systems as well as same userid, or an id defined in .rhosts file. Syntax is
rlogin options host 
Talk command.
talk command is used to invoke talk program available on all unix system which lets two users exchange information back and forth in real time. Syntax is
talk userid@hostname 
Telnet command.
Telnet command invokes a telnet protocol which lets you log on to different unix, vms or any machine connected over TCP/IP protocol, IPx protocol or otherwise. Syntax is
telnet hostname 
Vacation command.
vacation command is used when you are out of office. It returns a mail message to sender announcing that you are on vacation. to disable this feature, type mail -F " " .
syntax is
vacation options 
Write command will initiate an interactive conversation with user. Syntax is
write user tty 
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ftp hostname by default will connect you to the system, you must have a login id to be able to transfer the files. Two types of files can be transferred, ASCII or Binary. bin at ftp> prompt will set the transfer to binary. Practice FTP by ftping to nic.funet.fi loggin in as anomymouswith password being your e-mail address.

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compress uncompresscpio,dump,packtarmt.

Compress command.
Compress command compresses a file and returns the original file with .z extension, to uncompress this filename.Z file use uncompress filename command. syntax for compress command is
compress options files 
Uncompress command.
Uncompress file uncompresses a file and return it to its original form.
syntax is
uncompress filename.Z this uncompresses the compressed file to its original name. 
cpio command is useful to backup the file systems. It copy file archives in from or out to tape or disk, or to another location on the local machine. Its syntax is
cpio flags [options] 
Dump command is useful to backup the file systems.
dump command copies all the files in filesystem that have been changed after a certain date. It is good for incremental backups. This information about date is derived from /var/adm/dumpdates and /etc/fstab .
syntax for HP-UX dump is
/usr/sbin/dump [option [argument ...] filesystem] 
Pack command.
pack command compacts each file and combine them together into a filename.z file. The original file is replaced. Pcat and unpack will restore packed files to their original form.
Syntax is
Pack options files 
Tar command.
tar command creates an archive of files into a single file.
Tar copies and restore files to a tape or any storage media. Synopsis of tar is
tar [options] [file]

tar cvf /dev/rmt/0 /bin /usr/bin creates an archive of /bin and /usr/bin, and store on the tape in /dev/rmt0.
tar tvf /dev/rmt0 will list the tape's content in a /dev/rmt0 drive.
tar cvf - 'find . -print' > backup.tar will creates an archive of current directory and store it in filebackup.tar. 

Mt command Mt command is used for tape and other device functions like rewinding, ejecting, etc. It give commands to tape device rather than tape itself. Mt command is BSD command and is seldom found in system V unix versions.
syntax is
mt [-t tapename] command [count] 
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who | wc -l
echo "are total number of people logged in at this time."
and I want to run this script at 8:00 AM. So I will first type at 8:00 %lt;enter>
usersloggedin %lt;enter>
I will get following output at 8:00 AM
are total number of people logged in at this time.
  • -f file will execute commands in a file.
  • -m will send mail to user after job is completed.
  • -l will report all jobs that are scheduled and their jobnumbers.
  • -r jobnumber will remove specified jobs that were previously scheduled.

-rw-rw-rw-    1 ssb      dxidev       135 Dec  3 16:14 cal.txt
In this line above I have -rw-rw-rw- meaning respectively that owner can read and write file, member of the owner's group can read and write this file and anyone else connected to this system can read and write this file., next ssb is owner of this file dxidev is the group of this file, there are 135 bytes in this file, this file was created on December 3 at time16:14 and at the end there is name of this file. Learn to read these permissions in binary, like this for example Decimal 644 which is 110 100 100 in binary meand rw-r--r-- or user can read,write this file, group can read only, everyone else can read only. Similarly, if permissions are 755 or 111 101 101 that means rwxr-xr-x or user can read, write and execute, group can read and execute, everyone else can read and execute. All directories have d in front of permissions. So if you don't want anyone to see your files or to do anything with it use chmod command and make permissions so that only you can read and write to that file, i.e.
chmod 600 filename.

  • -h will change the group on symbolic links.
  • -R recursively descend through directory changing group of all files and subdirectories.

  • -h will change the owner on symbolic links.
  • -R will recursively descend through the directory, including subdirectories and symbolic links.

25 22  15 * 0 /usr/local/bin/backup_jobs 
The * here tells system to run this each month.
Syntax is
crontab file So a create a file with the scheduled jobs as above and then type
crontab filename .This will scheduled the jobs.

Minutes   0-59
    Hour      0-23
    Day of month 1-31
    month   1-12
    Day of week  0-6 (0 is sunday) 

Sun Dec  7 14:23:08 EST 1997 
is similar to what you should see on screen.

  • -b will print only the number of free blocks.
  • -e will print only the number of free files.
  • -f will report free blocks but not free inodes.
  • -F type will report on an umounted file system specified by type.
  • -k will print allocation in kilobytes.
  • -l will report only on local file systems.
  • -n will print only the file system name type, with no arguments it lists type of all filesystems

  • -a Lists all processes in system except processes not attached to terminals.
  • -e Lists all processes in system.
  • -f Lists a full listing.
  • -j print process group ID and session ID.

  • -a include user even if they've been idle for more than one hour.
  • -l sort by load average.
  • -r reverse the sort order.
  • -t sort by uptime.
  • -i sort by number of users.

  • -gn use a grace-period of n seconds (default is 60).
  • -ik tell the init command to place system in a state k.
    • s single-user state (default)
    • 0 shutdown for power-off.
    • 1 like s, but mount multi-user file systems.
    • 5 stop system, go to firmware mode.
    • 6 stop system then reboot.
  • -y suppress the default prompt for confirmation.

  • -a report all options.
  • -g report current settings.
  • 0 hang up phone.
  • n set terminal baud.
  • erase keyname, will change your keyname to be backspace key.

File Management commands.
cat,cd, cpfile,head,tailln,ls,mkdir ,more,mvpwdrcp,rmrmdirwc.

Misc commands
man,banner,calcalendar,clear,nohuptty At command.
at command along with crontab command is used to schedule jobs.
at options time [ddate] [+increment] is syntax of at command.
for example if I have a script named usersloggedin which contains. 
Chmod command.
chmod command is used to change permissions on a file.
for example if I have a text file with calender in it called cal.txt.
initially when this file will be created the permissions for this file depends upon umask set in your profile files. As you can see this file has 666 or -rw-rw-rw attributes.

ls -la cal.txt 
Chgrp command.
chgrp command is used to change the group of a file or directory.
You must own the file or be a superuser.
chgrp [options] newgroup files is syntax of chgrp.
Newgroup is either a group Id or a group name located in /etc/group .
Chown command.
chown command to change ownership of a file or directory to one or more users.
Syntax is
chown options newowner files 
Crontab command.
crontab command is used to schedule jobs. You must have permission to run this command by unix Administrator. Jobs are scheduled in five numbers, as follows. so for example you want to schedule a job which runs from script named backup_jobs in /usr/local/bin directory on sunday (day 0) at 11.25 (22:25) on 15th of month. The entry in crontab file will be. * represents all values. 
Date command.
Date displays todays date, to use it type date at prompt. 
Df command.
df command displays information about mounted filesystems. It reports the number of free disk blocks. Typically a Disk block is 512 bytes (or 1/2 Kilobyte).
syntax is
df options name 
Du command.
du command displays disk usage. 
Env command.
env command displays all the variables. 
Finger command.
finger command. 
PS command
ps command is probably the most useful command for systems administrators. It reports information on active processes.
ps options 
Ruptime command.
ruptime command tells the status of local networked machines.
ruptime options 
Shutdown command.
Shutdown command can only be executed by root. To gracefully bring down a system, shutdown command is used. 
Stty command
stty command sets terminal input output options for the current terminal. without options stty reports terminal settings.
stty options modes < device 
Who command who command displays information about the current status of system.who options file Who as default prints login names of users currently logged in. Options -a use all options. -b Report information about last reboot. -d report expired processes. -H print headings. -p report previously spawned processes. -u report terminal usage. atchmod,chgrpchown,crontab,datedf,duenvfingerps,ruptime,shutdwon,sttywhocut,pastesortuniq,awk,sed,vidiff,dircmpcmpgrepfind.
System Status

Storage commands


Shell and programming
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] 
for example if a file named testfile contains
Paste Command.
paste command merge the lines of one or more files into vertical columns separated by a tab.
for example if a file named testfile contains 
Sort command.
sort command sort the lines of a file or files, in alphabetical order. for example if you have a file named testfile with these contents 
Uniq command.
uniq command removes duplicate adjacent lines from sorted file while sending one copy of each second file.

sort names | uniq -d will show which lines appear more than once in names file. 
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.
df -t | awk 'BEGIN {tot=0} $2 == "total" {tot=tot+$1} END {print (tot*512)/1000000}' Will give total space in your system in megabytes.
Here the output of command df -t is being passed into awk which is counting the field 1 after pattern "total" appears. Same way if you change $1 to $4 it will accumulate and display the addition of field 4
which is used space.
for more information about awk and nawk command in your system enter man awk or man nawk
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 
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. 
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Text processing
Diff command.
diff command will compare the two files and print out the differences between.
Here I have two ascii text files. fileone and file two.
Contents of fileone are 
Cmp command.
cmp command compares the two files. For exmaple I have two different files fileone and filetwo.
cmp fileone filetwo will give me 
Dircmp Command.
dircmp command compares two directories. If i have two directories in my home directory named
dirone and dirtwo and each has 5-10 files in it. Then
dircmp dirone dirtwo will return this 
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 as follows. 
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. Here are some examples.

Some Examples:
find $HOME -print will lists all files in your home directory.
find /work -name chapter1 -print will list all files named chapter1 in /work directory.
find / -type d -name 'man*' -print will list all manpage directories.
find / -size 0 -ok rm {} \; will remove all empty files on system.
conditions of find 
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Comparison and Searching
Cal command
cal command will print the calander on current month by default. If you want to print calander of august of 1965. That's eightht month of 1965.
cal 8 1965 will print following results. 
Clear command
clear command clears the screen and puts cursor at beginning of first line. 
calendar command reads your calendar file and displays only lines with current day.
For example in your calendar file if you have this
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. For exmaple, if I want to run a job that takes lot of time and must be run from terminal and is called update_entries_tonight .
nohup update_entries_tonight will run the job even if terminal is shut down in middle of this job. 
Tty command 
Tty command will display your terminal. Syntax is
tty options 
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Misc commandsFile managementcomparison and searchingText processing
Shell and other programmingcommunicationsStorage commandsSystem status

Unix commands