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Getting Around In The UNIX Directory
NOTE: This Tip
Sheet assumes that the reader has a copy of a telnet application like EWAN
or NCSA Telnet, and is familiar with its use. If you do not have a telnet
application, you can get one several ways. If you are a SkyPoint Macintosh
user you can download the standard SkyPoint software package, which includes
NCSA Telnet. Windows 95 users have a telnet window already installed. Otherwise,
all platform users can access www.shareware.com
on the Web, do a search for telnet applications, and download one for free.
Where Am I? - pwd
At a prompt, type in pwd and hit return. This will always print the full pathname
of the directory you are in. This is very userful when you are far away from
your home directory and have lost track of where you are.
What Is In This Directory? -
You are probably already
familiar with the similar DOS command, dir. The options shown are not the
only ones by any means, but they are the most useful ones for beginning UNIX
Let's look at the above
example and see what it means. The field at the far left is the permissions
field. If you want more information on permissions, please see SkyPoint User
Tips on Unix Permissions. The second field is the owner's logon name, in this
case "aquila." The third field, showing "skyshell," is the group the owner
belongs to. The fourth field is the file size in kbytes. Field five is the
creation/modification date. If the field shows a date and time but no year,
as in the "rhostinfo" file, that means that the file was created this year.
The rightmost field is the file or directory name. Please notice that the
name "Mail" is followed by a "/". This means that this is another directory.
Another way to tell if something is a directory is to see if the leftmost
character in the permissions field is a "d". The "*" at the end of "config.sys"
means that this is an executable file. When you see the "->" arrow in a name
followed by a directory path, as in the "ftp" name, that means that the name
before the arrow is actually a symbolic link pointing to another file or directory.
The path after the arrow is the actual file or directory being pointed to.
Also, if the first character in the permissions field is an "l", that means
that the name is a link.
The best way to learn
how to use these commands is by trying them out and seeing what they do. Let's
look at one more example of how ls can be used. What if the directory we wanted
to list had dozens of files in it, and we just wanted to find out if one starting
with an "ma" was there? Rather than listing all those files and looking through
them, all the user would have to do is type ls -l ma* and hit the return key.
That would list all the files, links, and subdirectories in that directory
starting with the letters "ma," and give us the long form of the information.
Of course, if the user only wanted to see the files without getting the additional
information, she would just type ls ma* and hit return.
I Want To Go Somewhere Else
Usage: cd [directory
DOS users are familiar
with the cd command already. However, they should note that, unlike the DOS
backward- slash (\), UNIX uses a forward-slash (/) in showing its directory
structure. For example, a user might want to find a file in another member's
(aquila's) ftp site, /var/spool/ftp/pub/members/a/aquila. She would type cd
/var/spool/ftp/pub/members/a/aquila and hit the return key.
One other useful trick
with the cd command is that if you ever get lost or just want to get back
to your home directory from anywhere in the system, type cd and hit the return
key. You will immediately be put back to your home directory.