|Department of Engineering|
|University of Cambridge > Engineering Department > computing help|
This document is concerned with using the Unix operating system through a command line interpreter - a shell. Several shells are available. This document covers the most common ones (bash, the Posix shell, etc).
You'll need a ``terminal window'' to type commands into. On our machines you'll find a ``terminal window'' program on the ``Start'' menu.
Firstly, type the command date, and press the <Return> key. This prints out the time and day. (Typing the name of a program executes that program just the same as double clicking on its icon in the File Manager ).
Notice that you can use the <Back space> key to correct typing errors.
The interrupt character is C-c (i.e. hold the CTRL key down and press c). This is useful if you give a command or start a program which is either broken or is taking too long to finish. To abort you just type C-c. To try this, type the command
This will make the computer wait for 1000 seconds before asking you for the next command. Let's assume you don't want to wait for a quarter of an hour so type C-c. Shortly the prompt will return. The sleep command has been aborted.
Throughout this guide the notation `C-' will be used to indicate use of the CTRL key (e.g. C-c for interrupt as above).
If you are on a non-graphics terminal you should now read section 2.1 describing how to use the editor with control keys. Then return and continue from here. If you are on a X-windows workstation you can work straight on.
|| computing help ||