Linux issues - beginners

Linux Issues - common questions for beginners

How do I get started using unix?

    • There's lots of free resources out there.

  • If you need more help buy a beginners Unix book.

I still need help...

  • Here are some tips on finding help within Linux.

    • Man Pages

      • These are Help pages with Linux

      • Type "man" then the command you need help with.

      • This example will display all options associated with the "ls" command for listing contents of a directory:

Example: %man ls

My jobs are not running. What do I do?

Here are some tips for finding out common problems:

Check your disk usage to find out if you have reached your quota.

  • Use the "du" command which tells you how much space a file or directory occupies.

  • The "-sk" switches will tell you the size of the directory in kilobytes.

Example: %du -sk

  • Use the "ls" list directory command with the "-alt" switches to list all files and permissions.

Example: %ls -alt

Check to see what other processes you have running using the "ps" command:

Example: %ps -u (your_username)

Example: %ps -u username

Stop unused processes using the "kill" command. Look for the PID using the "ps" command.

Example: %kill (pid)

Example: %kill 29554

Look for a runaway process using the "top" command.

  • This happens when a process enters a never-ending loop or if it takes up too much CPU.

Example: %top

  • Then look under the CPU and USERNAME columns.

  • If you have a process running close to 99%, then you better kill it using the "kill" command.

How to I end a task?


  • If you hit CNTRL-D, it just moves what you are working on into the background. It does not stop it.

How do I end a Unix session?

  • Type "exit" at the command prompt.

Example %exit

You Tube video - Linux Terminal commands and navigation for Beginners - Part1

If you are a total beginner, watch this: