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UNIX Commands - The Basics

This tutorial is intended to give you the basics about a few simple, easy to learn UNIX commands that will enable you to use your Deer River WebHosting server better. This is in no way intended to be comprehensive, but you do not need to know a lot to use your server. If you find your knowledge needs to be seriously increased further than we have here, we encourage you to get a good book on UNIX commands.

Command List

pwd | ls | mkdir | rmdir | cp | mv | rm | grep | tar | zip | unzip | compress

If you find you are using many commands that aren't listed here, let us know and we will add them to the list.

The UNIX Bible (compressed version):

1. Command: pwd

Usage: The pwd command tells you what the current working directory you are in.

Example: Simply type "pwd" at a telnet command prompt and it will return something like
"/home/sites/yahoo.com"

2. Command: ls

Usage: The ls command lists the files and subdirectories of the current directory you are in. You can also add some arguments to the ls command to make it more meaningful.

If you type "ls -F" it will append a forward slash to the subdirectory names so you can easily distinguish them from file names.

If you type "ls -a" it will show all hidden files such as .htaccess files.

If you type "ls -l" it will show detailed information about each file and directory, including permissions, owners, size, and when the file was last modified.

Example: Type "ls -al" at a telnet command prompt and it will return your file names including hidden files, and a forward slash will be inserted in front of subdirectories.

DOS Equivalent: dir

3. Command: mkdir

Usage: The mkdir command makes a new directory. Simply type "mkdir directory" at a telnet command prompt and replace directory with the name of the directory you want to create.

Example: Type "mkdir temp" at a telnet command prompt to create a new directory called temp.

DOS Equivalent: md, mkdir

4. Command: rmdir

Usage: The rmdir command deletes (removes) a directory. Simply type "rmdir directory" at a telnet command prompt and replace directory with the name of the directory you want to delete.

Example: Type "rmdir temp" at a telnet command prompt to remove a directory called temp.

DOS Equivalent: rd, rmdir

5. Command: cp

Usage: The cp command copies a file to a new location or filename. Simply type "cp filename copyname" at a telnet command prompt and replace filename with the name of the file you want to copy, and copyname with the name of the new copy.

You can also add a directory structure if you want to copy the file to a completely new location. Simply type "cp filename directory/copyname" and replace directory with the name of the directory in which you want the new copy placed.

Example: Type "cp home.htm index.html" at a telnet command prompt to copy a file called home.htm to a file called index.html

DOS Equivalent: copy

6. Command: mv

Usage: The mv command renames a file or moves it to a new location. Simply type "mv oldfile newfile" at a telnet command prompt and replace oldfile with the name of the file you want to rename or move, and newfile with the new name of the new file.

You can also add a directory structure if you want to move the file to a completely new location. Simply type "mv oldfile directory/newfile" and replace directory with the name of the directory in which you want the file moved.

Example: Type "mv test.conf test.old.conf" at a telnet command prompt to move a file called test.conf to a file called test.old.conf

DOS Equivalent: move, rename

7. Command: rm

Usage: The rm command deletes (removes) a file. Simply type "rm filename" at a telnet command prompt and replace filename with the name of the file you want to delete.

Example: Type "rm test.html" at a telnet command prompt to remove a file called test.html.

DOS Equivalent: del

8. Command: grep

Usage: The grep command finds lines in files that match specified text patterns. Simply type "grep "text" filenames" at a telnet command prompt and replace "text" with the word or phrase you want to search for, and replace filenames with the files you want to search in. To search all files in the current directory, simply replace filenames with *

Example: Type "grep "for sale" *" at a telnet command prompt to find any files in the current directory that contain the text "for sale" in them.

9. Command: tar

Usage: The tar command copies a file or files to or from an archive. To put all the files in a directory into one tar format file, simply type "tar cvf tarfile directory" at a telnet command prompt and replace tarfile with the name you want to call your archived file, and replace directory with the name of the directory that contains the files you want to tar.

To extract the files fram a tar format archive, simply type "tar xvf tarfile at a telnet command prompt and replace tarfile with the name of the archived file you are extracting.

Example: Type "tar cvf pages.tar htdocs" at a telnet command prompt to archive the files in the htdocs directory to a tar format file called pages.tar.

You could also type "tar xvf pages.tar" at a telnet command prompt to extract into the current directory the files in the archive pages.tar.

10. Command: zip

Usage: The zip command compresses a file or list of files into a zip format archive file. This command is compatable with pkzip on a pc. Simply type "zip zipfile file1 file2 file3" at a telnet command prompt and replace zipfile with the name you want to use for your compressed zip archive file, and replace fileX with the name of the file(s) you want to compress into the zip archive.

Example: Type "zip back.zip home.html index.html" at a telnet command prompt to compress and archive the files called home.html and index.html into the file called back.zip.

DOS Equivalent: pkzip

11. Command: unzip

Usage: The unzip command extracts a zip format archive file. This command is compatible with pkunzip files from a pc. Simply type "unzip zipfile" at a telnet command prompt and replace zipfile with the name of your zip format archive file.

Example: Type "unzip old.zip at a telnet command prompt to extract the archive called old.zip.

DOS Equivalent: pkunzip

12. Command: compress

Usage: The compress command shrinks a file or files into compressed versions to save space on your virtual server. This command is good for you to use on your log files when they get very large. Simply type "compress filename(s)" at a telnet command prompt and replace filename(s) with the name of your files you want to compress.

Example: Type "compress access_log agent_log at a telnet command prompt to compress the access_log and agent_log files. The compressed files will then be access_log.Z and agent_log.Z

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