|INTRO(1)||Linux User's Manual||INTRO(1)|
NAME¶intro - introduction to user commands
DESCRIPTION¶Section 1 of the manual describes user commands and tools, for example, file manipulation tools, shells, compilers, web browsers, file and image viewers and editors, and so on.
NOTES¶Linux is a flavor of UNIX, and as a first approximation all user commands under UNIX work precisely the same under Linux (and FreeBSD and lots of other UNIX-like systems). Under Linux, there are GUIs (graphical user interfaces), where you can point and click and drag, and hopefully get work done without first reading lots of documentation. The traditional UNIX environment is a CLI (command line interface), where you type commands to tell the computer what to do. That is faster and more powerful, but requires finding out what the commands are. Below a bare minimum, to get started.
Login¶In order to start working, you probably first have to login, that is, give your username and password. See also login(1). The program login now starts a shell (command interpreter) for you. In case of a graphical login, you get a screen with menus or icons and a mouse click will start a shell in a window. See also xterm(1).
The shell¶One types commands to the shell, the command interpreter. It is not built-in, but is just a program and you can change your shell. Everybody has her own favorite one. The standard one is called sh. See also ash(1), bash(1), csh(1), zsh(1), chsh(1). A session might go like
knuth login: aeb Password: ******** % date Tue Aug 6 23:50:44 CEST 2002 % cal August 2002 Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 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 % ls bin tel % ls -l total 2 drwxrwxr-x 2 aeb 1024 Aug 6 23:51 bin -rw-rw-r-- 1 aeb 37 Aug 6 23:52 tel % cat tel maja 0501-1136285 peter 0136-7399214 % cp tel tel2 % ls -l total 3 drwxr-xr-x 2 aeb 1024 Aug 6 23:51 bin -rw-r--r-- 1 aeb 37 Aug 6 23:52 tel -rw-r--r-- 1 aeb 37 Aug 6 23:53 tel2 % mv tel tel1 % ls -l total 3 drwxr-xr-x 2 aeb 1024 Aug 6 23:51 bin -rw-r--r-- 1 aeb 37 Aug 6 23:52 tel1 -rw-r--r-- 1 aeb 37 Aug 6 23:53 tel2 % diff tel1 tel2 % rm tel1 % grep maja tel2 maja 0501-1136285 %
Pathnames and the current directory¶Files live in a large tree, the file hierarchy. Each has a pathname describing the path from the root of the tree (which is called /) to the file. For example, such a full pathname might be /home/aeb/tel. Always using full pathnames would be inconvenient, and the name of a file in the current directory may be abbreviated by giving only the last component. That is why "/home/aeb/tel" can be abbreviated to "tel" when the current directory is "/home/aeb". The command pwd prints the current directory. The command cd changes the current directory. Try "cd /" and "pwd" and "cd" and "pwd".
Directories¶The command mkdir makes a new directory. The command rmdir removes a directory if it is empty, and complains otherwise. The command find (with a rather baroque syntax) will find files with given name or other properties. For example, "find . -name tel" would find the file "tel" starting in the present directory (which is called "."). And "find / -name tel" would do the same, but starting at the root of the tree. Large searches on a multi-GB disk will be time-consuming, and it may be better to use locate(1).
Disks and filesystems¶The command mount will attach the filesystem found on some disk (or floppy, or CDROM or so) to the big filesystem hierarchy. And umount detaches it again. The command df will tell you how much of your disk is still free.
Processes¶On a UNIX system many user and system processes run simultaneously. The one you are talking to runs in the foreground, the others in the background. The command ps will show you which processes are active and what numbers these processes have. The command kill allows you to get rid of them. Without option this is a friendly request: please go away. And "kill -9" followed by the number of the process is an immediate kill. Foreground processes can often be killed by typing Control-C.
Getting information¶There are thousands of commands, each with many options. Traditionally commands are documented on man pages, (like this one), so that the command "man kill" will document the use of the command "kill" (and "man man" document the command "man"). The program man sends the text through some pager, usually less. Hit the space bar to get the next page, hit q to quit. In documentation it is customary to refer to man pages by giving the name and section number, as in man(1). Man pages are terse, and allow you to find quickly some forgotten detail. For newcomers an introductory text with more examples and explanations is useful. A lot of GNU/FSF software is provided with info files. Type "info info" for an introduction on the use of the program "info". Special topics are often treated in HOWTOs. Look in /usr/share/doc/howto/en and use a browser if you find HTML files there.
COLOPHON¶This page is part of release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.