UNIX/Linux: The Essentials

Course:  UNIXE
Duration:  3 Days
Level:  I
Course Summary

This course is intended to bring staff with little or no UNIX/ Linux experience to a level where they can confidently use a UNIX or Linux system. Building on a delegate's prior experience as a Windows desktop user, the course begins by developing an understanding of what the UNIX/Linux operating system is, and how it's file-system and commands support familiar file management activities. It then develops the concept of a command-line shell, introducing UNIX's standard input/output/error mechanism, command pipelines, and the "toolbox" command structure that these enable. The most commonly used text processing commands are discussed in detail, with realistic exercises to illustrate how and when these commands are useful. The basic features of the UNIX/Linux "power tools" such as grep, sed, and awk are also covered, including exercises that illustrate their use in analyzing or reformatting very large files such as application logs.

Delegates use either or both of the ksh and bash shells, noting the differences between UNIX and Linux, but focusing on the common features, so that the course is suitable for delegates using any of the UNIX or Linux distributions, and helpful for those who have to use more than one of them.

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Topics Covered In This Course

Welcome to the World of UNIX

  • Why do users choose UNIX?
  • An operating system
  • The UNIX operating system
  • Components of the UNIX Operating System
  • Organisation of a UNIX system
  • The Kernel
  • The Filesystem
  • The Shell
  • User Interfaces
  • Terminal based interface
  • The command processor
  • Utilities
  • Windows based interfaces
  • Using a graphical interface
  • Distributed environments and Client/Server
  • Networking

Logging On and Getting Help

  • Logging on
  • Accessing the UNIX command line
  • Format of UNIX commands
  • Getting help
  • Internet based help
  • Setting and changing the password

Navigating the Filesystem

  • Structure of a UNIX filesystem
  • Identifying files and directories
  • Absolute and relative addresses
  • The home directory
  • Where am I (pwd)
  • Moving around the filesystem (cd)
  • Listing directory contents (ls)
  • Creating directories (mkdir)
  • Removing directories (rmdir)
  • Displaying files (file)
  • Displaying file contents (more)
  • Copying files and directories (cp)
  • Moving and renaming files & directories (mv)
  • Removing files (rm)

Shell Facilities

  • The Shell environment
  • Using wildcards
  • Default action of the Shell
  • Saving output and using file input (Redirection)
  • Bolting commands together (Piping)
  • Gluing files together (cat)
  • Aliases


  • Print file
  • Print request
  • Cancel print request
  • Enable printer
  • Line printer status information

Editing Within UNIX

  • vi editor
  • Key tricks
  • vi modes
  • The vi editor for beginners
  • Some further useful features

Process Handling

  • What is a Process?
  • Interactive or background?
  • Process fork
  • Process, report status
  • Process, kill a
  • Allocating priority
  • Logging out using nohup
  • Sequential command lines

Additional UNIX Commands

  • Display date
  • Display a calendar
  • Spell checking
  • Word count
  • Grep
  • Regular expressions
  • User communications
  • Mail usage
  • Mail disposition options
  • Who is on the System
  • Write to User

UNIX Utilities

  • The Find Utility
  • Sort or merge files
  • sed

UNIX Security

  • File system permissions
  • Change mode
  • Symbolic notation
  • Octal notation
  • Change owner
  • Change group
  • Default creation mode (umask)
  • Backup and restore
  • Cpio utility
  • Tar utility
  • Pathname considerations

The Shell Environment

  • Shell environment
  • System variables
  • Shell variables
  • Assigning variables
  • Displaying variables values
  • Exporting variables
  • Shell interpretation
  • Using quotes in the Shell
  • The Back quote
  • The Single quote
  • The Double quotes
  • The Backslash
  • Special escape characters
  • Additional Korn Shell facilities

Shell Programming

  • Shell scripts
  • Executing Shell scripts
  • Passing arguments to a program
  • Positional parameters
  • Special Shell parameters
  • The Read command
What You Can Expect

Designed for technical staff that provide support for applications running on UNIX/Linux systems, or as a starting point for new UNIX/Linux system administrators, this course provides a sound understanding of the most commonly used UNIX/Linux shells, tools and utilities, with a focus on developing confidence in using the system. The course also introduces UNIX's potential for automating repetitive operations by using the shell's history and programming features.

On completing this course, a delegate can expect to be able to:

  • describe the main components of the UNIX/Linux operating system.
  • understand the typical UNIX/Linux command syntax, and appropriate use of absolute and relative path-names.
  • perform any kind of file-management activity including creating, copying, renaming, and setting access permissions for both directories and files.
  • effectively use many of the UNIX power tools for obtaining data from and processing text files.
  • extract files from, and create compressed archives.
  • use the vi editor.
  • use ksh and bash wildcards, variables, history, and other syntax to save typing and work more effectively.
  • do basic troubleshooting of UNIX/Linux and application operation and performance.
  • create and modify simple shell scripts.
Who Should Take This Course

This course is ideal for technical staff that have some user-level experience with mainframe or Windows systems and are finding they now have the need to work as effectively and confidently on UNIX or Linux based systems. It's also an excellent refresher for staff who find that their UNIX experience has become dated.

The material in this course is suitable for users of any of the popular versions of UNIX and Linux, including AIX, Solaris, HP/ UX, Red Hat, Suse, and Ubuntu.

Recommended Prerequisites

No prior experience with the UNIX or Linux operating system is required.

Training Style

Short lecture sessions, along with extensive hands-on workshops.

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Related Courses
Code Course Title Duration Level
Linux Fundamentals
5 Days
UNIX/Linux: Essentials and Programming
5 Days
UNIX Shell Programming
3 Days

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