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Home TOPICS Introduction to the Unix command line

Introduction to the Unix command line

by Benjamin P Haley

Most popular Operating Systems (OS), like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, offer primarily (but not exclusively) graphical interfaces. The user interacts with files and programs by pointing and clicking with a mouse. Unix, which is considerably older than Windows or OS X, offers (multiple) graphical interfaces, but Unix originally presented a command line interface. The user interacts with the OS by typing commands at a text prompt and reading textual output from programs. The command line interface is alive and well in Unix today, and many Unix users consider it the most powerful and efficient system for basic operations like navigating around the file system.

Created on , Last modified on, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.