Linux Command Line Basics

12 April 2023 09:30 till 16:30 - Location: Penguinlab 2e etage, gebouw 36 (EWI), Mekelweg 4, Delft | Add to my calendar

The command line is a text based computer interface. It is a powerful tool for getting more work done in a shorter amount of time. Sometimes it is the only interface available to you.  This course is for anyone who wants to learn basic command line operations and how to automate simple tasks by chaining multiple commands together in a script. The course is aimed at students who have no or very little experience with the linux command line.

This course also acts as a primer for follow-up courses where basic command line skills are assumed.

The command line (or the terminal) has been around for ages. At one time, it was the only way to operate a computer. If you wanted to do any form of computing, you had to learn your way around the command line. Fortunately, the rise of graphical interfaces has greatly democratized the use of computers, up to the point where you can now just sit on the couch and tap on a touchscreen to watch your favorite movie or send a quick message to your friends. The command line is long forgotten and if you still see it somewhere it seems intimidating and the domain of power users and computer enthusiasts. Definitely not for people who just want to get their job done easily.

Or is it? Many of those computer enthusiasts will argue that the command line is more powerful, faster and much more flexible to use, even if you only invest a little bit to get to know the basics. Many of the graphical programs you use on a daily basis are nothing more than a graphical shell for a command line tool. This is certainly the case for many tools used in the scientific community. 100% of the worlds’ supercomputers run on Linux and more often than not all you get to interact with those is a command line.

This course is NOT going to turn you into a command line guru, or a terminal wizard. We will however set you up with all the basic skills you need to actually start working with a command line and get the job done.

After this course, you should be able to:

  • Navigate the filesystem
  • Create, rename, move and delete files and directories
  • Use a terminal based editor (vi) to perform basic edits
  • View the contents of files
  • Log in to remote systems and transfer files and folders
  • Run programs
  • Create your own scripts, chaining multiple commands together

As a bonus we will give a small demonstration on how you can apply some of the things you learned in this course when you want to run a program on the DelftBlue supercomputer.


09:30 - 09:45 Introduction
09:45 - 10:45 Part 1: Basic file operations and file editing
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 12:30 Part 2: Working with remote systems

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:30 Part 3: Creating scripts
14:30 - 14:45 Break
14:45 - 16:00 Part 4: Install and run your own scripts
16:00 - 16:30 Demonstration of running a program on the DelftBlue supercomputer

Programme subject to change

Tux, the Linux Mascot

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