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Unix: Introduction to the Command Line Interface

Course notes

This course is aimed at those new to the Unix environment who need to use the command line (text) interface, or who wish to start on the path towards shell scripting. No previous experience with the Unix environment is assumed and this course is probably unsuitable for those with any significant experience.

The course is a self-paced course with a lecturer introducing the topics and a demonstrator available to help with practicals. It is designed to be suitable for people to take away and work with themselves on any Linux system roughly comparable with PWF Linux.

By the end of the course attendees should be able to confidently use the command line interface on either a local or remote Unix system. They should be able to navigate around the Unix file system from the command line and use a number of basic, common Unix commands.


The notes for this course are available in PDF format. We also provide the starting files for the course as a “tar ball”. True novices may need to ask for help unpacking these.

All comments or questions regarding this course, and the course materials provided on this page, should be sent to