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Home Online Help Unix Unix Command Summary

Summary of Common Commands

This table summarizes some common unix commands and may be printed for quick reference. Other commands may be available for the same or similar tasks.

Task Command Example
Working With Files

List files


ls -alF


cp fromfile tofile

cp prog1 prog2


rm filename

rm data.csv

Move files

mv fromname toname

mv /scratch/ bigdata

Rename files

mv oldname newname


Display the contents of a file

more filename

press the ENTER key to advance a line at a time; press the SPACE bar to advance a screen at a time; press CONTROL-C to end

Find a file

find "directory" -name "filename" -print

If you know the name of a file but not where it is, cd to your home directory and use 'find . -name "filename.txt" -print'

Working with Directories

Show working directory



Change working directory

cd dirname

cd jp

Change to home directory



Change to parent directory

cd ..

cd ..

Create directory

mkdir dirname

mkdir thesis

Remove directory

rmdir dirname

rmdir loveltrs


Print a file

lpr -P printername filename

lpr -P nslaser

Printer status

lpq -P printername

lpq -P nslaser

Cancel print job

lprm -P printername jobnum

lprm -P nslaser 123

List available printers

printers -L

printers -L | more

Other Commands

Check how much disk space you can use

quota -v

quota -v

Edit a file

pico filename


Edit a file

vi filename


Modify access permissions

chmod attrs filename

chmod o+r pubinfo

Display environment variables



Display a calendar

cal month year


Display current date and time



Help on a command

man commandname

man cp
or lookup man pages

Help on a keyword

man -k keyword

man -k mail

See who is logged on



Look up someone's email address

ph name

ph Jane Doe

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