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Martin Wynne

© 1992-1997

Martin's Home Page


  1. About UNIX
  2. Logging in and out
  3. UNIX filestore
  4. UNIX commands
  5. Doing more
  6. Communications
  7. File permissions
  8. Standard input and output
  9. An introduction to the ex line editor
  10. Regular expressions
  11. Processing large text corpora
  12. Introduction to the vi screen editor
  13. Text formatting
  14. More on the shell
  15. Shell programming


  1. Appendix A Command summary
  2. Appendix B Example scripts

About this course

This course is intended to serve as a general introductory guide to the Unix operating system. The course was written to be given to students for self-study, with some tutorial support. It is intended however that it can be used entirely as a self-study course if necessary. While the course is intended for those learning to use Unix for language processing, the material covered is of interest to any users who wish to explore Unix and develop their own simple applications. The language processing techniques introduced here should be of interest to any user who wishes to handle text files.

The course contains a series of exercises, to be found at the end of most chapters, plus some practice material inside the chapters. It is important that you do these as you work through the course. Not only do they serve to consolidate what has been covered in the text, they should lead you to find out more. You will learn much more if you adopt an active, curious and critical approach to Unix. So try things at the keyboard, and don't be afraid to get things wrong - it is an important part of the learning process.

Most of the information given in this course should be relevant for most versions of Unix. However, students should be prepared to encounter local variations.

Information about to the implementation of Unix on Lancaaster University machines is separated from the main text and included in boxes like this, so that the main text may remain as widely applicable as possible.


Thanks to Brian Kelly and Robin Haig of Leeds University Computing Service, some of whose materials have been used in the development of this course. Thanks also to Paul Rayson who helped put this version on the web.


Banahan M & A Rutter, UNIX - the book, Sigma, 1982.

Francis W N & H Kucera, Manual of Information to accompany a standard corpus of present-day American English for use with digital computers, Brown University, 1979.

Johannson S, Manual of Information to accompany the Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen corpus of British English for use with digital computers, University of Oslo, 1978.

Kantaris N, A concise introduction to UNIX, Bernard Babani, 1988.

Miller C D F, R D Boyle and A J Stewart, UNIX for users, Blackwell, 1990.

Nishinuma Y & R Espesser, UNIX First Contact, MacMillan, 1987.

Parker T, UNIX Survival Guide, Addison-Wesley, 1990.

Poole P C & N Poole, Using UNIX by example, Addison-Wesley, 1986.

Prata S. & D Martin, UNIX System V Bible: commands and utilities, The Waite Group, 1987.

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