Unix Crash Course
Compact Course (Blockveranstaltung)

Instructor: Dr. Jan-Peter Bell
October 04-12, 2007,     RUD 25, 3.101

Computer Science Department
Systems Architecture Group


Abstract: Unix is one of the most popular operating systems for the desktop and for servers. Linux is one of the most broadly available Unix systems. Unix is said to be complicated and user unfriendly. But that is really not true. This course will demonstrate that knowledge of a small set of tools and conventions is sufficient to accomplish most task with your computer, in a short time.
  • Compact Course (Blockveranstaltung), VL 2SWS
  • 2 weeks before official start of semester
  • 3h lectures + 3h lab, every day, 5 days a week, for 2 weeks
  • Beginners introduction to Unix: Command tools and language, help system, working with files and directories, networking basics, email, world wide web, popular applications, X11 graphical user interface.

Times and Places:

  • [to be determined]

Credits and grading:

  • No credits.


  • No prior experience with computers is assumed.
  • You need a user account at the computer science department.
  • Introduction
    • History
    • First steps (login, logout, passwd)
  • Help Systems
    • manuals
    • info system
  • Command language
    • Shell (sh, bash)
    • "." -files
  • Working with files and directories
    • creating, modifying and deleting files (vi)
    • creating and deleting directories (mkdir, rmdir)
    • searching for files and strings (find, grep)
    • changing names and attributes of files and directories (mv, chmod)
    • copying files and directories (cp)
  • Networking basics
    • introduction
    • host names
    • working remotely (telnet, rlogin, ssh)
    • file transfer (ftp, sftp, scp, wget)
    • network file system (NFS)
    • network information system (NIS)
  • Email
    • protocols (SMTP, POP, IMAP)
    • email user tools (pine, mutt, mail)
  • World Wide Web
    • browsers (netscape, mozilla, opera)
    • browser mail interface
    • personal web page
  • X11 graphical user interface
    • X11 configuration files
    • Windows Manager (KDE, GNOME, ...)
  • Popular applications
    • Firefox
    • Thunderbird

Readings (Books):

  • J.R. Levine, M.L. Young. "Unix for Dummies". ISBN 3-8266-2932-9.
  • C. Wolfinger. "Keine Angst vor Unix/Linux". ISBN 3-54043-2035.
  • A. Willemer. "UNIX - Ein praktischer Einstieg'. ISBN 3-898721-1572.
  • A. Willemer. "Wie werde ich UNIX-Guru?". ISBN 3-89842-2402.
Documentation Project
Univ. Tübingen
Einführung in Unix und Linux
Univ. Zürich
Lehrtexte: Unix-Einführung

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