Unix Essentials Class

Instructor: Phil Otken


Website: http://www.hyper-ad.com


This course is intended for folks with little or no background in UNIX. It is recommended that every person interested in learning UNIX have a system available for practice, since the typical minimum learning curve for getting a job with a UNIX system is about 1 year. If a UNIX system is not available for practice at work (best and least expensive option), there are at least two other options:

  1. Download and install the Cygwin environment on your Windows home computer (it runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4 and 2000) from:
  2. http://www.cygwin.com

    Please note that this is a BIG download. CDROM copies are available - see the website for details. This is a particularly appropriate solution for laptops. You'll need 100-200MB free hard drive space. Cygwin comes with the GCC C/C++ compiler and lots of other very useful goodies.

  3. Get an old IBM clone computer (I've bought COMPAQ P100 systems for $30), wipe out the hard drive and install Linux on it. This is a bit more expensive, since you also have to have a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and takes more time, but having your own system dedicated to Linux is a great way to learn. You do NOT need a fancy system to get a lot of good work done; even a 486 will run well enough. There are many Linux distributions. Currently, the best are Red Hat (I'd use version 6.2 rather than the newer 7.x versions because the GCC compiler was screwed up), SUSE, Debian (die-hard nerds only!), Slackware and Mandrake. You can get inexpensive versions of nearly all of these and a lot more on CDROM at http://www.cheapbytes.com, or go to your favorite bookstore and pay a little more for an official release. Half-Price Books currently has lots of good Linux distributions for cheap.

I recommend spending one hour a day, every day, learning something new. With time and persistence, this much work will do wonders for your income, and miracles for your attitude.

The root address of these notes is:


There will also be helpful hints posted from time to time, as well as links to very useful Linux and UNIX sites.

Notes: Table of Contents

Recommended Books