Tutorials/Tutorial: Beginning with the Shell

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This is a tutorial, and has hands-on exercises for you to do to help understand the material presented. Please make sure that:

  • You can use a text editor (vi emacs nano gedit — I don't care)
  • You have a laptop with plenty of charge. There will be some power available; I don't know how much.
  • You can get access to a Bourne compatible shell. Most machines will have /bin/sh as a link to a Bourne-compatible shell. Such shells include:
    • dash
    • bash
    • ksh


We'll be using only standard commands — ls sed awk grep test etc. One non-standard command you may wish to install for the first exercise is sysvbanner. On Debian or Ubuntu do:

apt-get install sysvbanner

It doesn't seem to be available for CentOS, but for RedHAT and Fedora you can do:

yum install banner

To save time (and contention on the server at tutorial time) please grab


and unpack it with

 tar xzvf shell-tut-examples.tgz

This will save you typing time, and provide the data files you need for the final exercises.


The slides and notes are here: Media:ShellForStarters.pdf