RTD Training & Development

Introduction to Unix/Linux and Shell Programming

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Introduction to Unix/Linux and Shell Programming

4 days hands-on £1,940+VAT

This course can be delivered over the web

Next scheduled date:
Monday February 26th, 2024 Enrol Now!

Unix essentials, commands, utilities, pipelines, shell scripting


Getting Started

  • The evolution of Unix and Linux
  • Logging in and out
  • Basic commands

The File System

  • File system structure
  • Navigation
  • File and directory operations
  • Hard and symbolic links

Shell Basics

  • Common shells
  • Command syntax
  • Shell meta-characters
  • Quoting
  • I/O re-direction
  • Pipes
  • Executing multiple commands


  • Programs and processes
  • Running commands in the background
  • Listing and controlling processes
  • Signals


  • Users and groups
  • File and process ownership
  • File permissions

The 'vi' Text Editor

  • Modes of operation
  • Simple editing commands
  • Regular expressions
  • Powerful search and replace techniques

Unix Power Tools

  • Finding files (find)
  • Searching for text (grep)
  • Replacing text (tr)
  • Sorting text (sort)
  • Comparing files (diff, cmp)
  • Communications (mail, write)

Shell Data

  • Shell variables
  • Pre-defined shell variables
  • Positional parameters
  • Exporting variables
  • Startup files
  • Evaluating numeric expressions

Shell Control Structures

  • Truth and falsehood
  • The 'test' statement
  • The 'if' statements
  • The 'case' statement
  • Pattern matching
  • The 'for' loop
  • Tracing and debugging scripts

Shell Process Control

  • The 'exit' statement
  • Writing handlers for signals
  • Reading user input
  • Using file descriptors


  • Using sed in pipelines
  • Sed script files
  • Addressing in sed
  • Using sed buffers


  • Basic awk processing
  • Pre-defined variables
  • User-defined variables
  • Operators
  • Conditional and looping constructs


This course is applicable to the Bourne shell and it's derivatives (e.g. the Korn shell and 'bash') on any Unix or Linux variant. Participants will gain an understanding of the the major concepts of Unix/Linux operation.

Effective use of shell scripts allow users and administrators to automate many complex tasks in Unix. In addition, the 'sed' and 'awk' programs enable powerful text processing scripts to be written. This course provides an in-depth coverage of scripting for all three programs.


On successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the major Unix/Linux operational modes
  • Manipulate the file system
  • Use the standard Unix editor 'vi'
  • Use all major features of Bourne, Korn, bash and similar shells
  • Use a variety of standard Unix commands
  • Pipe simple commands together to create powerful compound commands
  • Write shell scripts containing advanced programming constructs
  • Combine shell scripts with Unix 'power tools'
  • Debug shell scripts
  • Use advanced features of 'sed'
  • Write awk programs to perform complex text processing


This course is for programmers and analysts who are new to the Unix/Linux environment and for individuals who wish to explore the power of Unix/Linux on the desktop. Current users of Unix and Linux applications who wish to become familiar with the system at the command line level and write powerful scripts to automate frequent tasks will also find it useful.


No prior knowledge is assumed.

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