What is UNIX?

UNIX is an operating system that originated from AT&T; in the early 1970s. Through the years, UNIX has come to be used on a variety of computers, including the Silicon Graphics machines that we use here at SCESCAPE.

In some ways, UNIX is similar to the DOS that many people are familiar with on their IBM-PC style computers. The interface is text-based, with words or abbreviations of words used as commands. One of the main differences between DOS and UNIX is that UNIX is not as standardized as DOS. But UNIX developers have been trying to move towards a more "standard" version of UNIX.

What is a "UNIX Prompt?"

You may have heard someone say 'go to the UNIX prompt and do this...' This is somewhat like dropping to a DOS prompt in Windows.

To get to the UNIX prompt at SCESCAPE, telnet to scescape.net, this will prompt you for your login name and password:

This is where you can enter your UNIX commands.

Some Useful Commands

Here's a list of some commonly used UNIX commands:

   cd     - change directory  (ex: 'cd public_html')
   pwd    - display the directory you are working in   
   ls     - list the contents of a directory
   rm     - remove a file (ex: 'rm file.txt')
   mv     - change a filename (ex: 'mv index.htm index.html')
   cp     - copy a file (ex: 'cp index.html index.bak')
   mkdir  - create a new directory (ex: 'mkdir images')
   rmdir  - remove a directory (ex: 'rmdir images')
   clear  - clear the screen