Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Logging in and using the command prompt

From: Unix for Mac OS X Users

Video: Logging in and using the command prompt

Now I want to just talk a little bit more about what's happening when we launch Terminal. Notice here this first line, Last login. That's telling us the time and date that we last logged into Unix. Every time we open a new window it logs us into Unix again as a new Unix session. We can have several of those open at once. I'll use Command+N to open a new window and now you can see that I have a different Last login time. There is no problem having several of these open once. Each one is a Unix session and each time I'm being logged in as Kevin. I'm being automatically logged in on the Mac.

Logging in and using the command prompt

Now I want to just talk a little bit more about what's happening when we launch Terminal. Notice here this first line, Last login. That's telling us the time and date that we last logged into Unix. Every time we open a new window it logs us into Unix again as a new Unix session. We can have several of those open at once. I'll use Command+N to open a new window and now you can see that I have a different Last login time. There is no problem having several of these open once. Each one is a Unix session and each time I'm being logged in as Kevin. I'm being automatically logged in on the Mac.

Other Unix systems don't automatically log you in. You'd put in your username and your password for it to know who you are. But your Mac already knows who you are. Now if you are using your Mac as a single-user environment, that may come as a bit of surprise to you because you may not even think about the fact that you are logged in as you. But if you go to Apple menu and down to System Preferences and into Accounts, you can see that we can manage different user accounts. Now you may only have one or you may have been taking advantage of this feature and you may have family members or co-workers or people like that who have accounts on the machine as well.

But for a lot of people they just use a single-user account and under Login Options you may even have Automatic login set to True. In which case you don't even enter your username and password then. It remembers that it does it for you. So your Mac is completely turned off, you turn it on, and it automatically logs you in with your username and password, and voila, you are logged in as you. It's very much the same user experience that you would've had with OS 9 which was a single-user system. But once we moved OS X with this Unix underneath, Unix is fundamentally a multi-user environment.

Even if you're only using it for just you, it still has all those multi-user features and that's going to have some applications later on that we'll need to talk about. So realize this: that when you first fire up your Mac you are being logged in as a user. Even if you don't explicitly put in your username and password, and therefore when you start your Unix session using the Terminal you're also being logged in as that user. So the next I want is to look at the second line and see what's going on here. What we have to begin with is what we call the command prompt. This is prompting us for some action, and we'll see how to configure this later on.

Right now by default, it's going to be configured to the host name, the directory that we are in and then the user that we're logged in as and then this dollar sign here which is the prompt. Dollar sign space and then my cursor is here waiting for me to type something. It's prompting me to give it some commands. So I am going type a simple command, echo and then a single quote followed by Hello World and another single quote. I'll hit Return. That tells that all right, I'm done typing, take this command and execute it and it does. You'll see the response it gives me back and then I get the command prompt again saying, "Okay, I've done what you asked and now I'm ready for more input." Let me go ahead and just type a few more commands in here just so we have them.

echo 'Hello', echo 'World' and then I want to show you that you can use the up arrows and down arrows to go back to previous commands. So you can access those previous commands using that and that's an indispensable tool. You are going to be using that all the time, up and down. You can even then use the forward and back arrows to go in and edit the line and make changes. So it can save you a lot of typing. You say, oops! You know what? I meant to do that command but I meant to have three exclamation points after it. Well you don't have to do the whole re- typing. You just go back, make the change you want and then hit Return again.

There are some other useful shortcuts for working with command line that I want to just take a look at. But before we do I just want to show you that you can use Exit to exit a session or you can just simply close the window. That does the exact same thing; it exits you out. So if I hit exit, you'll see now it says logout and now it doesn't take any input from me anymore. I can then go up and close the window and whenever I want to log back in, I just open a new window and now it's ready to take my input again. I am logged back in. All right, let's look at some other shortcuts. As I said we've got the up and down arrows to review previous commands. Ctrl+A will move your cursor back to the start of a line.

So if you've got a long line of 50 characters and you want to make a change at the beginning or the change you want is closer to the beginning, Ctrl+A will just shoot your cursor back to the beginning. Ctrl+E will go to the end. So I remember it by thinking A is the beginning of the alphabet, E stands for End and that will shoot me to the end of the line. On the Mac, inside Terminal, you can also Option+Click a point on a line and it will take your cursor to that point. I find that that can be a little buggy sometimes. It doesn't always work exactly like I expect, but it can be a really quick way to get there.

So try that first. Option+Click the spot on the line where you wanted to go to and it should just move your cursor back along. Another very useful tool is Auto Complete. If you're in the middle of typing something and then you hit Tab it'll try to guess what the rest of it is, based on the available commands or the available filenames. So that's really useful if you want to type a whole filename. You don't have to type the whole thing; you can just type enough that it can tell the difference and hit Tab and it will finish it for you. Tab+Tab can be used whenever the Auto Complete doesn't work, because it's not sure what the matches are.

So let's say here's five files that are all very similar. You type the first few letters and it can't tell from that which one you want. Tab+Tab will show you a list of what all of those possible matches are. And then the Command key plus the Tilde key will cycle between Terminal windows if you have several windows open and Command+K as I mentioned before will clear the screen and scroll back.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Unix for Mac OS X Users
Unix for Mac OS X Users

82 video lessons · 25615 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 57s
    1. Introduction
      1m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 43s
  2. 32m 2s
    1. What is Unix?
      7m 27s
    2. The terminal application
      4m 23s
    3. Logging in and using the command prompt
      5m 19s
    4. Command structure
      5m 22s
    5. Kernel and shells
      5m 25s
    6. Unix manual pages
      4m 6s
  3. 15m 58s
    1. The working directory
      2m 49s
    2. Listing files and directories
      3m 59s
    3. Moving around the filesystem
      4m 58s
    4. Filesystem organization
      4m 12s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. Naming files
      5m 41s
    2. Creating files
      2m 19s
    3. Unix text editors
      6m 39s
    4. Reading files
      5m 35s
    5. Reading portions of files
      3m 27s
    6. Creating directories
      2m 40s
    7. Moving and renaming files and directories
      8m 32s
    8. Copying files and directories
      3m 7s
    9. Deleting files and directories
      3m 38s
    10. Finder aliases in Unix
      4m 10s
    11. Hard links
      5m 30s
    12. Symbolic links
      6m 36s
    13. Searching for files and directories
      6m 32s
  5. 34m 58s
    1. Who am I?
      4m 3s
    2. Unix groups
      1m 52s
    3. File and directory ownership
      6m 41s
    4. File and directory permissions
      4m 27s
    5. Setting permissions using alpha notation
      6m 49s
    6. Setting permissions using octal notation
      3m 49s
    7. The root user
      1m 57s
    8. sudo and sudoers
      5m 20s
  6. 52m 34s
    1. Command basics
      4m 4s
    2. The PATH variable
      4m 13s
    3. System information commands
      3m 40s
    4. Disk information commands
      6m 8s
    5. Viewing processes
      5m 0s
    6. Monitoring processes
      3m 36s
    7. Stopping processes
      3m 19s
    8. Text file helpers
      6m 50s
    9. Utility programs
      7m 28s
    10. Using the command history
      8m 16s
  7. 20m 39s
    1. Standard input and standard output
      1m 24s
    2. Directing output to a file
      4m 13s
    3. Appending to a file
      2m 44s
    4. Directing input from a file
      5m 28s
    5. Piping output to input
      4m 40s
    6. Suppressing output
      2m 10s
  8. 41m 28s
    1. Profile, login, and resource files
      9m 11s
    2. Setting command aliases
      6m 59s
    3. Setting and exporting environment variables
      4m 54s
    4. Setting the PATH variable
      6m 10s
    5. Configuring history with variables
      6m 17s
    6. Customizing the command prompt
      6m 5s
    7. Logout file
      1m 52s
  9. 1h 25m
    1. grep: Searching for matching expressions
      5m 21s
    2. grep: Multiple files, other input
      4m 28s
    3. grep: Coloring matched text
      2m 57s
    4. Introduction to regular expressions
      3m 22s
    5. Regular expressions: Basic syntax
      3m 19s
    6. Using regular expressions with grep
      5m 20s
    7. tr: Translating characters
      8m 17s
    8. tr: Deleting and squeezing characters
      5m 30s
    9. sed: Stream editor
      7m 45s
    10. sed: Regular expressions and back-references
      7m 8s
    11. cut: Cutting select text portions
      7m 42s
    12. diff: Comparing files
      4m 35s
    13. diff: Alternative formats
      4m 30s
    14. xargs: Passing argument lists to commands
      7m 25s
    15. xargs: Usage examples
      7m 59s
  10. 42m 25s
    1. Finder integration
      4m 45s
    2. Clipboard integration
      5m 5s
    3. Screen capture
      3m 42s
    4. Shut down, reboot, and sleep
      3m 34s
    5. Text to speech
      2m 36s
    6. Spotlight integration: Searching metadata
      3m 41s
    7. Spotlight integration: Metadata attributes
      4m 24s
    8. Using AppleScript
      5m 23s
    9. System configurations: Viewing and setting
      5m 51s
    10. System configurations: Examples
      3m 24s
  11. 1m 26s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 26s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Unix for Mac OS X Users.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.