Do you have a list of common UNIX commands?

Here is a brief list of simple Unix commands that will help you move around the file system, examine files, copy or delete files.  For help with any command, e.g. the ‘ls’ command, type ‘man ls’ in your xterm window.


ls list files
cp copy files: cp /path/name newname
mv move or rename files: mv name newname
rm remove (i.e. delete) files: rm name
chmod change mode of file permissions: chmod xxx name
cat scroll file contents: cat name
more page file contents (spacebar to continue): more name
less better pager than more? (q to quit): less name
view view file contents (:q to quit): view name
vi visual text editor (:wq to save and quit): vi name
pico pico text editor (Ctrl-X to quit): pico name


mkdir make (create) new directory: mkdir Name
cd change directory: cd /path/name
cd change to your home directory: cd
rmdir remove directory (if empty): rmdir Name
pwd print working directory (show directory name)
quota check disk space quota: quota


du show disk usage
ps list your processes
kill kill a process: kill ###
passwd change your password
remote_passwd change your remote password
date show date and time
w who is doing what on the system
who who is connected to the system
cal display a calendar
ping ping another computer (is it alive?)
finger get information on users
exit exit, or logout, from the system

Most commands have options, which are described in the online man pages.

Posted in: Unix