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UNIX for Dummies Quick Reference

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Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Use This Book. What's in This Book. Conventions Used in This Book. The Cast of Icons. Write to Us! Part I: Commanding UNIX Using the Shell. Directories. Environment Variables. Filenames. Help with Commands. Identifying Your Shell. Pathnames. Quoting Characters on the Command Line. Redirecting with Pipes and Filters. Shell Prompts. Special Characters and What They Do. Startup Files. Typing Commands. Wildcards. Part II: UNIX Commands. alias. at. awk. bash. bc. bg. cal. calendar. cancel. cat. cd. chgrp. chmod. chown. clear. cmp. compress. cp. cpio. crontab. csh. date. df. diff. diff3. dircmp. du. echo. ed. elm. emacs. env. ex. exit. fg. file. find. finger. ftp. grep. gunzip. gzip. head. help. history. id. irc. jobs. kill. ksh. ln. lp. lpq. lpr. lprm. lpstat. ls. lynx. mail. man. mesg. mkdir. more. mv. nice. nn. pack. passwd. pico. pine. pr. ps. pwd. rcp. red. rehash. rlogin. rm. rmdir. rn. rsh. script. sdiff. sed. set. setenv. sh. sleep. sort. spell. stty. tail. talk. tar. tee. telnet. time. tin. touch. trn. troff. tty. umask. unalias. uname. uncompress. uniq. unpack. uucp. uudecode. uuencode. vacation. vi. wall wc. who. write. zcat. Part III: Using X Window Managers. Anatomy of a Window. Changing the Window Size. Exiting the Window Manager. Keyboard Shortcuts. Motif. FVWM. Maximizing a Window. Minimizing (Iconifying) a Window. Moving a Window. Opening a Window in an Obsolete but Easy Way. Opening Windows in a User-Friendly Way. Restoring a Window. Restoring a Window from an Icon. Selecting Several Things with Your Mouse. Switching Windows. The Window Menu. Working with the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). CDE Applications. CDE Windows. The Front Panel. Front Panel Subpanels. Part IV: Using Text Editors. Using the ed Text Editor. Starting ed. Getting out of ed. ed commands. Using the emacs Text Editor. Starting emacs. Getting out of emacs. emacs commands. emacs commands for editing multiple files. Using the pico Text Editor. Starting pico. Getting out of pico. pico commands. Using the vi Text Editor. Starting vi. Getting out of vi. vi commands. vi commands in input mode. Part V: Sending and Receiving Electronic Mail. Addressing Your Mail. elm. Sending a message. Reading your messages. Printing a message. Saving a message. Exiting the program. Changing your elm options. Getting help. Command line options. Mail. Sending a message. Reading your messages. Forwarding a message. Printing a message. Saving a message. Exiting the mail program. Command line options. Pine. Sending a message. Reading your messages. Replying to a message. Forwarding a message. Printing a message. Saving a message. Deleting a message. Adding an address to an address book. Retrieving an address from an address book. Exiting the program. Changing options. Getting help. Sending Mail Using Other Mail Programs. Part VI: Connecting to Other Computers. FTP. Connecting to a remote system. Connecting by using anonymous FTP. Quitting FTP. Listing the files in a directory. Moving to other directories. Retrieving files. Retrieving groups of files. Decompressing files that you have retrieved. Downloading retrieved files to your PC. Sending files to a remote system using FTP. Summary of FTP commands. IRC: Chatting with Others on the Net. Starting IRC. Finding IRC channels. Joining an IRC channel. Quitting IRC. Getting help with IRC commands. Chatting by using IRC commands. Summary of IRC commands. Having an IRC private conversation. rcp. Copying files from a remote computer. Copying all the files in a directory. rlogin and rsh. Connecting to a remote computer. Disconnecting from a remote computer. Running commands on a remote computer by using rsh. Logging in automatically by using rlogin and rsh. telnet. Connecting to a remote computer. Disconnecting from a remote computer. Part VII: Finding Resources on the Net. Internet Explorer. Lynx. Going directly to a page. Going back to a previous page. Searching within Web pages. Key summary. Netscape. Starting up. Going to a new page. Going back to a previous page. Finding places to go in Netscape. Printing a page. Saving a file. Freeing disk space. Quitting Netscape. Resource Indexes. Part VIII: Usenet Newsgroups. Netiquette: Avoiding Getting Flamed. Reading Usenet Newgroups with trn. Starting your newsreader. Changing the order in which newsgroups appear. Choosing which new newsgroups to subscribe to. Dealing with rot-13 articles. Dealing with shar files. Dealing with uuencoded files. Exiting the newsreader. Finding articles on specific topics. Finding a newsgroup. Getting help. Posting a new article. Reading articles. Replying to and following up an article. Sending an e-mail reply. Posting a news follow-up. Saving an article. Selecting newsgroups to read. Selecting the threads that you want to read. Skipping over a newsgroup. Skipping an uninteresting or offensive article. Skipping unread articles. Unsubscribing to a newsgroup. Understanding Newsgroup Names. Glossary: Techie Talk. Index. Book Registration Information.

About the Author

Unlike her peers in that 40-something bracket, Margaret Levine Young was exposed to computers at an early age. In high school, she got into a computer club known as the R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S., a group of kids who spent Saturdays in a barn fooling around with three antiquated computers. She stayed in the field through college against her better judgment and despite her brother John's presence as a graduate student in the computer science department. Margy graduated from Yale and went on to become one of the first microcomputer managers in the early 1980s at Columbia Pictures, where she rode the elevator with big stars whose names she wouldn't dream of dropping here. Since then, Margy ( has coauthored more than 20 computer books about the topics of the Internet, UNIX, WordPerfect, Microsoft Access, and (stab from the past) PC-File and Javelin, including The Internet For Dummies, 6th Edition, and WordPerfect 7 For Windows 95 For Dummies (all from IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.). She loves her husband, Jordan; her kids, Meg and Zac; gardening; chickens; reading; and anything to do with eating. Margy and her husband also run Great Tapes for Kids ( from their home in the middle of a cornfield near Middlebury, Vermont. John R. Levine was a member of the same computer club Margy was in -- before high school students, or even high schools, had computers. He wrote his first program in 1967 on an IBM 1130 (a computer almost as fast as your modern digital wristwatch, only more difficult to use). He became an official system administrator of a networked computer at Yale in 1975 and has been working in the computer and network biz since 1977. He got his company on to Usenet (see Part IV) early enough that it appears in a 1982 Byte magazine article in a map of Usenet, which then was so small that the map fit on half a page. He used to spend most of his time writing software, although now he mostly writes books (including UNIX For Dummies and Internet Secrets, both from IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.) because it's more fun and he can do so at home in the hamlet of Trumansburg, New York, where he holds the exalted rank of sewer commissioner and offers free samples to visitors and plays with his young daughter when he's supposed to be writing. He also does a fair amount of public speaking. (See He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University, but please don't hold that against him.

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