UNIX Commands Quick Reference

Desired Action


Get information about a UNIX command

man Command

Get UNIX commands for a given topic

man -k Topic

Create a directory

mkdir DirName

Change working directory to home directory


Change working directory to arbitrary directory

cd DirName

List contents of working directory


List contents of arbitrary directory

ls DirName

List contents of directory in detail

ls -l DirName

List all (hidden) files in directory

ls -a DirName

Remove an empty directory

rmdir DirName

Remove a non-empty directory

rm -r DirName

Remove a file

rm FileName

Rename a file or directory

mv OldName NewName

Move a file to a different directory

mv FileName DirName

Copy a file

cp OriginalName CopyName

Copy a directory and all its subdirectories

cp -r OriginalName CopyName

Clear the screen/window


Record what appears on the screen


Edit a file

xemacs FileName

Translate a self-contained Java source program

javac SourceFileName

Run a Java program

java ClassName

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