Beginner's Guide to the Unix Terminal
Beginner's Guide to the Unix Terminal
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Beginner's Guide to the Unix Terminal

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Last updated on 2020-05-13

About the Book

Many young programmers didn't grow up with the command-line as the computer's main interface. Therefore, they don't know the power that a tool like the Unix terminal can provide. But behind fancy windows and coloured buttons there is a world that can be discovered.

This book is not an attempt to take over the place of sacred tomes like Bash Guide for Beginners or many other great resources that discuss every single aspect of the powerful Unix command-line interface. I just want to provide a simple introduction for beginners that is easy to follow. The chapters are short, structured as self-contained lessons so that the book can be used as a course for young programmers that, trying to keep pace with ever-evolving technologies, cannot afford spending hours on the gory details of the Unix terminal.

The book is still in development but it already contains two completed sections. The first one covers the basic utilities like cat, wc, grep, and sed, while the second part introduces the reader to regular expressions. Two other parts that are still in the works will cover the file system and scripting. Chapters discuss the concepts using some example files and provide exercises with solutions so that the reader can practically test their understanding.

The book is meant to be simple and it purposely skips details, providing, I hope, a great way for beginners to start exploring the Unix world, now that Linux and Mac OS are on everyone's computer (and other devices). In the era of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, the command-line still has something to say. If you want to start listening, welcome to the Beginner's Guide to the Unix Terminal.

About the Author

Leonardo Giordani
Leonardo Giordani

My name is Leonardo Giordani, I was born in 1977 with Star Wars, bash, Apple ][, BSD, Dire Straits, The Silmarillion. I'm interested in operating systems and computer languages, photography, fantasy and science fiction, video and board games, guitar playing, and (too) many other things.

I studied and used several programming languages, from the Z80 and x86 Assembly to Python and Scala. I love mathematics and cryptography. I'm mainly interested in open source software, and I like both the theoretical and practical aspects of computer science.

For 13 years I was a C/Python programmer and devops for a satellite imagery company. and I am currently infrastructure engineer at WeGotPOP, a UK company based in London and New York that creates innovative software for film productions.

In 2013 I started publishing some technical thoughts on my blog, The Digital Cat. In 2018 I published my first book with Leanpub, “Clean Architectures in Python”, which has been already downloaded more than 11,000 times.

Table of Contents

  •  
    • Preface
      • Who this book is for
      • Why this book exists
      • Why you should read this book
      • Who should not read the book
      • The prompt
      • Discrimination of fruit-labelled products
      • Why this book comes for free
      • Submitting issues or patches
      • About the author
      • Acknowledgments
      • Sources
    • Setup
      • Example files
      • Linux users
      • Mac OS users / Windows users
  • Part 1 - Basic commands
    • Day 1 - Getting help
      • Exercises
    • Day 2 - Printing
      • Exercises
    • Day 3 - Showing the content of a file
      • Exercises
    • Day 4 - Beginnings and ends
      • Exercises
    • Day 5 - Semicolon, logical AND, pipes
    • Day 6 - Printing specific lines
    • Day 7 - Sequences and counting
      • Exercises
    • Day 8 - Variables
    • Day 9 - Fields
      • Exercises
    • Day 10 - Sorting and reducing
    • Day 11 - Find and replace text
      • Exercises
  • Part 2 - Regular expressions
    • Day 12 - Regular expressions - Single characters
      • Exercises
    • Day 14 - Regular expressions - Classes
      • Exercises
    • Day 15 - Regular expressions - Anchors
      • Exercises
    • Day 16 - Regular expressions - Multiple matches
      • Exercises
    • Day 17 - Regular expressions - Groups
      • Exercises
  • Part 3 - The Unix file system
    • TODO
  • Part 4 - Scripting
    • TODO
  • Appendix 1 - Solutions to exercises
    • Day 1 - Getting help
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 2 - Printing
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 3 - Showing the content of a file
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 4 - Beginnings and ends
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 7 - Sequences and counting
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 9 - Fields
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 10 - Sorting and reducing
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 11 - Find and replace text
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 12 - Regular expressions - Single characters
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 14 - Regular expressions - Classes
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 15 - Regular expressions - Anchors
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 16 - Regular expressions - Multiple matches
      • Solutions to exercises
    • Day 17 - Regular expressions - Groups
      • Solutions to exercises
  • Part 3 - Appendices
    • Changelog
  • Notes

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