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Thursday, June 25, 2009


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Creating a Directory in Linux

The mkdir (make directory) command is used to create directories.

[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ mkdir prog-files
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ -

The sub-directory, prog-files, is created under the current directory. However, the new directory does not become the current directory. Complete path names can be specified with mkdir.


[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ mkdir /tmp/prog-files
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ _

In the above example, the directory, prog-files, is created under the /tmp directory.


Identifying the Current Directory Path

The pwd (print working directory) command is used to display the full path name of the current directory.

[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhostb Steve] $ _

Here, /home/Steve is the directory in which the user is currently working.

Changing the Current Directory

The cd (change directory) command changes the current directory to the directory specified.

Assume that Steve has logged in and has given the following command:

[Steve@localhost Steve ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ cd /usr/bin
[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ _

Note that the complete path name has been specified with the cd command. Linux also allows the use of relative path names with commands. Let' s look at an example.


[ Steve@localhost /usr ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost /usr ] $ cd bin
[ Steve@localhost bin] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost bin ] $ _

In the above example, the user, Steve, changed the working directory from /usr to the directory, /usr/bin. However, he did not mention the full path of the bin directory. Since bin is a sub-directory in the current working directory, Steve just specified the directory name and Linux interpreted that the directory is under the current directory.

You can also use the .. (double dot) option with the cd command to move to the parent directory of your current directory. For example, Steve can enter the following command after logging in, to change to the parent directory of his HOME directory.


[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ cd . .
[ Steve@localhost /home ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost /home ] $ cd . .
[ Steve@localhost / ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost / ] $ _

The two dots refere to the parent directory of the current directory. Note that there has to be a space between cd and two dots, but not between the dots.

The cd command without any path name always takes a user back to the HOME directory.


[ Steve@localhost bin ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost bin ] $ cd
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ _

Recollect that the tilde ( - ) sign is used to denote the full path for your HOME directory. Let' s say there are two directories, baseball and basketball, under Steve' s HOME directory.

[ Steve@localhost vga ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost vga ] $ cd -/baseball
[ Steve@localhost baseball ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost baseball ] $ cd -
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ _

You can use a combination of all the above options in your cd command. Let us look at an example, if Steve wants to move from the directory data1 to data2, he would issue the following cd command.

[ Steve@localhost data1 ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost data1 ] $ cd . . /data2
[ Steve@localhost data2 ] $ pwd
[ Steve@localhost data2 ] $ _

Listing the Contents of a Directory in Linux

The is command is used to display the names of the files and sub-directories in a directory.


[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ 1s /home/Steve
DEADJOE X baseball comm tennis
Desktop a.out basketball program.cc
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ _

In the above example , all the files and directories under the directory named Steve are listed. If the files and directories under the current directory are to be listed, it is optional to specify the directory name with 1s.

In the above output, you are shown the file names but not the types of files. The -1 option, when used with 1s displays a detailed list of files and directories

Removing a Directory in Linux

The rmdir (remove directory) command removes the directory specified.


[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ rmdir prog-files
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ _

Here, the prog-files directory is deleted.

A directory can be deleted using the rmdir command only if it is:

1) Empty (does not contain files or sub-directories)

2) Not the current directory

Complete path names may also be specified with rmdir.


[ Steve@localhost Steve] $ rmdir /home/Steve/tennis
[ Steve@localhost Steve ] $ _

The above command removes the tennis directory, which is located in Steve' s HOME directory.


System Administrator

The System Administrator (SA) is primarily responsible for the smooth operation of the system. it is the SA' s job to switch on the system console (the machine on which the operating system resides, also known as the server machine).

The SA also creates users and groups of suers for the system, and takes backups to prevent loss of data dure to system breakdown. In Linux, the SA is also known as the root user. The SA has all the rights for the Linux system.

File owner

The user who creates a file is said to be the owner of that file. The owner of afile can perform any operation on that file: copying, deleting, and editing.

Group Owner

Consider the following situation

A project of five people from the Dynasoft Consultants Inc, is working on a software development project for a private detective agency. An analyst heads the team. The other four members are programmers. The team is working on a Linux system.

Each programmer has been given a few programs to develop. The data provided by the detective agency is of a highly confidential nature, and so the data file has been created in the analyst' s HOME directory.

One programmer may have to link (join) a program to another programmer' s program in order to test the program.

In this situation, each programmer is the File Owner of his or her own program files. Each program, however, also belongs to the other programmers, so that they can use it for linking to the file or directly access to the file.

The project team of five users is said to be the Group Owner for the file. In Linux, it is possible to define the users who willl belong to a group. A group of users are also given a name, just as a user is given a name.

Other Users

In the example of the dynasoft consultants Inc; all the users of the system who are not members of the project group are referred to as Other Users for the files of that group.

Other Users who do not belong to the particular group. For example, the users belonging to the finance department could be treated as Other Users for the payroll department.

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