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I am new to Unix, what's a good tutorial to start with? Answered

I am new to Unix, and would like to learn my way around, shell scripting etc. Is there a good tutorial I can use?



Best Answer 8 years ago

I am not sure that learning shell scripting is the first thing I would do if I were new to Unix.  I suggest concentrating on learning the absolute basics first - file system navigation, copy/moving files and directories, file and directory permissions, and basic troubleshooting to name a few.  It's by no means a complete list, but here are my suggestions on how to get familiar with Unix.

1. The command line is your friend.  Depending on the flavor of *uix that you are using, you'll either have a commad line or a GUI (Graphical User Interface - like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, etc) when you log in.  If it's a GUI, find your command line, often called Terminal, and start it.  If you are a Windows user, you are probably familiar with "dir" to list directory contents and "cd" to change directory.  In *uix, "dir" becomes "ls", however "cd" stays the same.  Become familiar with using "ls" and "cd" before moving on.

2. RTFM (Read the Freakin' Manual).  Always, always, always read the manual first.  *uix has a little manual for nearly every command that it supports.  You can access it by typing "man xxx" where xxx is the command you wish to run.  Try "man ls" to figure out what ls does, how it works, and how it can be modified with command line switches.  You'll find that something as simple is "ls" has many, many options to make your life easier... or harder.  :)  If you are switching from Windows, try using "ls -Alg".

3. Get moving.  Assuming again that you are coming from Windows, you are probably familiar with dragging and dropping files and directories to copy/move them from one place to another.  You have probably also had to create directories with a right-click menu.  *uix GUIs can do pretty much the same thing, but let's build on what we learn in part 1.  From the command line, the Windows commands would be "copy", "move", and "mkdir".  In *uix, these become "cp" and "mv" while "mkdir" stays the same.

Once you have these basic skills down, you should be far better equipped to tackle something like scripting.  When you are ready to venture on, head to Google and search for "Shell Scripting Hello World".  You'll find plenty of useful stuff.

Good luck!


Answer 8 years ago

I used to read man pages... ah, happy heavy-technical stuff. Still they do tell you what automount and cron do.



8 years ago

O'Reilly's Unix In A Nutshell is a classic, and still one of the best, tutorial and reference books around.  If you do an Amazon search for "Unix in a Nutshell," you'll also get a many of the other O'Reilly books on different Unix/Linux topics.  Generally speaking, the O'Reilly books are best-of-the-best for Unix issues, and you won't go wrong by starting with them.