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Linux Command Line

Introduction

On modern Linux systems, many day to day tasks such as web browsing and reading email can be managed via a graphical interface. Nonetheless the command line is much more flexible and powerful, likely to be quicker when operating on large numbers of files at once, and essential for tasks such as scientific programming or analysing data.

To obtain a Terminal window (command prompt) click on the black monitor icon at the top of your screen, or select Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal Emulator from the menus.

If you are unfamiliar with the command line it is strongly recommended that you attend the UIS's excellent introductory training course "Unix: Introduction to the Command Line Interface" which is repeated each term. The link to book on this course changes with each run but it can be found on the page of Unix/Linux courses.

The following online information may also be helpful:

Tips and customisation

Your shell is the program that is between you and the Unix operating system. You type commands to it and it interprets them and sends them to the Unix system.

Bash is the default shell given to users in Maths. Much but not all of the information in these pages is also applicable to other shells.