Unix for VMS Users
The intent of this document is to provide a very quick introduction to Unix
operating systems for VAX/VMS users. It is not intended to be comprehensive. It
contains just enough information for VMS programmers to get started on the
new Linux systems. Much more comprehensive information is available at the
Fermilab web site.
- File names in Unix are case sensitive.
- There are no version numbers in Unix.
- Unix file names do not contain node or device fields.
- File types are (often) optional in Unix. In particular, directory files
do not have an explicit file type.
- In Unix '.' refers to the current directory and '..'
refers to its parent directory.
Commands in General
- Unix commands are case sensitive.
- Unix commands cannot be abbreviated.
Some Useful Unix Command Line Editing Keys
|<Up> || Recall previous command.
||<Down> || Recall next command.
|<Left> || Move cursor left one character.
||<Right> || Move cursor right one character.
|<Bksp> || Delete character to left of cursor.
||<Del> || Delete character under cursor.
|<Ctrl>-a || Move cursor to start of line.
||<Ctrl>-e || Move cursor to end of line.
|<Ctrl>-u || Delete from cursor to start of line.
||<Ctrl>-k || Delete from cursor to end of line.
|<Ctrl>-t || Transpose two characters.
||<TAB> || Command and filename completion.
The Unix equivalents of some basic VMS commands
|Provide help on a command
.. list commands related to 'topic'.
||Show current directory
|List directory contents
.. with details
|SET DEFAULT [.PROJECT]
SET DEFAULT [-]
SET DEFAULT [USER]
Move up one directory level
Go to a user's home directory
||Make a new directory
||Remove a directory
rm -i *.typ
|Remove a file
.. prompting for confirmation
|RENAME OLD.; NEW.;
||mv old new
||Rename or move a file
|COPY OLD.; NEW.;
||cp old new
||Copy a file
more file.typ *
|Display the file's contents
.. page by page
.. just the beginning
.. just the end
|SEARCH FILE.TYP "text"
SEARCH/EXACT FILE.; "Text"
|grep -i 'text' file
grep 'Text' file
grep '^Text' file
grep 'Text$' file
grep 'Text.' file
grep 'Text\.' file
|Search for "text" in a file
.. case sensitive
.. match lines beginning with "Text"
.. match lines ending with "Text"
.. match "Text" followed by anything
.. match "Text."
|DIFFERENCE F1.TYP F2.TYP
||diff f1.typ f2.typ
|Stop the current process
Suspend the current process
Resume a suspended process
EOF (Terminate input)
||Type <Enter> for next line,
<Space> for next page, and
q to quit.
A number of editors are available under unix and users are free to choose
whichever one they prefer. However, the defaullt choice is
- It is intuitive in that it uses normal mouse operations for selectinng text
and standard keyboard shortcuts for basic operations (<Ctrl>-c
for copy, <Ctrl>-v for paste, <Ctrl>-x for cut,
<Ctrl>-s for save, and <Ctrl>-q to quit.)
- It is easy to use in that all commands are menu driven and there is a
built-in help facility.
- It is quite powerful.
- It is language sensitive.
- It is also available on VMS.
Some console applications need to authenticate the user to determine whether
the user is authorized to take some privledged actions. For example, edit a
device in D80. On VMS this was done by using VMS passwords. Linux use Kerberos.
Therefore, the average user does not have an equivalent to their VMS password
on Linux. A system for maintaining such applications passwords has been built
for Linux. To initialize or change your password:
Setting your console application password on Linux
|Login to a Linux machine, i.e., clxNN.
||The conpwd command needs the ticket to determine your identity
||The conpwd command requires no arguments
|Enter the password of your choice twice as prompted
||There is a five-character minimum
The password established by conpwd unlike your VMS password is not involved with your
authentication for access/login to a console machine itself, e.g., cns/clx55. For the
access/login to the Linux console system itself Kerberos authentication is used.