Basic Unix-like command line tutorial
October 2014 (perspective of an assistant professor)
Here are three 9-minute videos to introduce beginners to the basics of a Unix-like command-line interface.
Here are three 9-minute screencast videos that I recorded to introduce beginners to a Unix-like command-line interface. If you're running Mac OS or Linux, then you can access this interface by opening your Terminal program. If you're running Windows, then you need to first download and install Cygwin.
The goal of this tutorial is to show the very basics of the command-line interface: navigating to directories, tab-completion, and moving, copying, and deleting files. No matter what you end up doing on the command line, you need to know these concepts since you will be using them every day.
This tutorial isn't meant to be comprehensive. Command-line programs have insane numbers of intricate options that I can't possibly cover in half an hour. However, after you learn the basics, it will be easier for you to learn more details down the line.
Part 1: Listing files and changing directories
Part 2: Creating a directory, tab-completion and * to speed up typing and to prevent errors
Part 3: Moving and copying files, deleting files and directories
Encore: Relative and absolute paths
Here's a bonus (encore!) video that discusses the concept of paths, contrasting relative and absolute paths.
Last modified: 2014-10-25