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           Section 1 of the manual describes user commands and tools, for example,
           file manipulation tools, shells,  compilers,  web  browsers,  file  and
           image viewers and editors, and so on.
           All  commands  yield  a status value on termination.  This value can be
           tested (e.g., in most shells the variable $?  contains  the  status  of
           the  last  executed  command) to see whether the command completed suc-
           cessfully.  A zero exit status is conventionally used to indicate  suc-
           cess,  and  a  nonzero  status means that the command was unsuccessful.
           (Details of the exit status can be found in wait(2).)  A  nonzero  exit
           status  can  be  in the range 1 to 255, and some commands use different
           nonzero status values to indicate the reason why the command failed.


           Linux is a flavor of UNIX, and as a first approximation all  user  com-
           mands  under  UNIX work precisely the same under Linux (and FreeBSD and
           lots of other UNIX-like systems).
           Under Linux there are GUIs (graphical user interfaces), where  you  can
           point  and  click  and  drag, and hopefully get work done without first
           reading lots of documentation.  The traditional UNIX environment  is  a
           CLI  (command line interface), where you type commands to tell the com-
           puter what to do.  That is faster and more powerful, but requires find-
           ing out what the commands are.  Below a bare minimum, to get started.
           In  order  to start working, you probably first have to login, that is,
           give your username and password.  See also login(1).  The program login
           now starts a shell (command interpreter) for you.  In case of a graphi-
           cal login, you get a screen with menus or icons and a mouse click  will
           start a shell in a window.  See also xterm(1).
       The shell
           One  types  commands  to the shell, the command interpreter.  It is not
           built-in, but is just a program and you can change your shell.   Every-
           body  has  her  own  favorite one.  The standard one is called sh.  See
           also ash(1), bash(1), csh(1), zsh(1), chsh(1).
           A session might go like
                  knuth login: aeb
                  Password: ********
                  % date
                  Tue Aug  6 23:50:44 CEST 2002
                  % cal
                       August 2002
                  Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                               1  2  3
                   4  5  6  7  8  9 10
                  11 12 13 14 15 16 17
                  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
                  drwxr-xr-x   2 aeb       1024 Aug  6 23:51 bin
                  -rw-r--r--   1 aeb         37 Aug  6 23:52 tel
                  -rw-r--r--   1 aeb         37 Aug  6 23:53 tel2
                  % mv tel tel1
                  % ls -l
                  total 3
                  drwxr-xr-x   2 aeb       1024 Aug  6 23:51 bin
                  -rw-r--r--   1 aeb         37 Aug  6 23:52 tel1
                  -rw-r--r--   1 aeb         37 Aug  6 23:53 tel2
                  % diff tel1 tel2
                  % rm tel1
                  % grep maja tel2
                  maja    0501-1136285
           and here typing Control-D ended the session.  The % here was  the  com-
           mand  prompt--it  is  the shell's way of indicating that it is ready for
           the next command.  The prompt can be customized in lots  of  ways,  and
           one might include stuff like username, machine name, current directory,
           time, and so on.  An assignment PS1="What next, master? " would  change
           the prompt as indicated.
           We see that there are commands date (that gives date and time), and cal
           (that gives a calendar).
           The command ls lists the contents of the current directory--it tells you
           what  files  you  have.  With a -l option it gives a long listing, that
           includes the owner and size and date of the file, and  the  permissions
           people  have  for  reading  and/or changing the file.  For example, the
           file "tel" here is 37 bytes long, owned by aeb and the owner  can  read
           and  write  it,  others can only read it.  Owner and permissions can be
           changed by the commands chown and chmod.
           The command cat will show the contents of a file.  (The  name  is  from
           "concatenate and print": all files given as parameters are concatenated
           and sent to "standard output", here the terminal screen.)
           The command cp (from "copy") will copy a file.  On the other hand,  the
           command mv (from "move") only renames it.
           The  command  diff lists the differences between two files.  Here there
           was no output because there were no differences.
           The command rm (from "remove") deletes the file, and be careful! it  is
           gone.  No wastepaper basket or anything.  Deleted means lost.
           The  command  grep (from "g/re/p") finds occurrences of a string in one
           or more files.  Here it finds Maja's telephone number.
       Pathnames and the current directory
           Files live in a large tree, the file hierarchy.  Each  has  a  pathname
           describing  the  path  from the root of the tree (which is called /) to
           the file.  For example, such a full pathname  might  be  /home/aeb/tel.
           The command find (with a rather baroque syntax) will  find  files  with
           given  name or other properties.  For example, "find . -name tel" would
           find the file "tel" starting in the present directory (which is  called
           ".").   And  "find  / -name tel" would do the same, but starting at the
           root of the tree.  Large searches on a multi-GB disk will be  time-con-
           suming, and it may be better to use locate(1).
       Disks and filesystems
           The  command  mount  will  attach the filesystem found on some disk (or
           floppy, or CDROM or so) to the big filesystem  hierarchy.   And  umount
           detaches  it again.  The command df will tell you how much of your disk
           is still free.
           On a UNIX system many user and  system  processes  run  simultaneously.
           The  one  you  are talking to runs in the foreground, the others in the
           background.  The command ps will show you which  processes  are  active
           and  what numbers these processes have.  The command kill allows you to
           get rid of them.  Without option this is a friendly request: please  go
           away.   And "kill -9" followed by the number of the process is an imme-
           diate kill.  Foreground processes can often be killed  by  typing  Con-
       Getting information
           There are thousands of commands, each with many options.  Traditionally
           commands are documented on man pages, (like this one), so that the com-
           mand  "man  kill" will document the use of the command "kill" (and "man
           man" document the command "man").   The  program  man  sends  the  text
           through  some  pager,  usually less.  Hit the space bar to get the next
           page, hit q to quit.
           In documentation it is customary to refer to man pages  by  giving  the
           name  and section number, as in man(1).  Man pages are terse, and allow
           you to find quickly some forgotten detail.  For newcomers an  introduc-
           tory text with more examples and explanations is useful.
           A  lot  of  GNU/FSF  software  is provided with info files.  Type "info
           info" for an introduction on the use of the program "info".
           Special   topics   are   often   treated   in    HOWTOs.     Look    in
           /usr/share/doc/howto/en and use a browser if you find HTML files there.



    Linux 2007-11-15 INTRO(1)


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