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Unix Tools
Computer Laboratory > Course material 2003-04 > Unix Tools

Unix Tools

Principal lecturer: Dr Markus Kuhn
Taken by: Part IB


This non-examinable 6-h lecture course takes you onto a quick tour through a few important and highly useful Unix development tools including the shell, make, Perl and LaTeX on 2003 October 9-28, 12:00-13:00 in the Heycock Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site.

Study Materials (in PDF for easy printing):

Related links:

Most of the tools discussed in the course can be explored and used on the PWF Linux installations in the Computer Laboratory's Teaching Lab. However, due to home directories residing on a Novell server, PWF Linux has a few quirks and restrictions compared to a typical Unix or Linux system. Problems with PWF Linux should be reported to

I'd like to encourage students who own a PC and are interested in Unix to try out one of the various excellent freely or cheaply available Unix-like operating systems: Linux (Debian, Mandrake, SuSE, RedHat), NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD. In particular, the Computing Service's Unix Support runs an FTP and NFS server with all the files and updates found on the latest Red Hat installation CDs.

To get started with installing Red Hat 9:

  • Read the Installation Guide.
  • Make sure you have space for a generous new harddisk partition (perhaps after resizing a too large existing partition with FIPS).
  • One option to proceed is to burn yourself copies of the the installation CDs from the provided ISO 9660 images and install from these.
  • More conveniently, for those who enjoy a fast Internet connection in a college room, it is only necessary to prepare a boot CD-R or boot floppy disk. The necessary files are here. Then the installation software booted this way can be told to load the rest of the operating system from the Computing Service's NFS server, as described in the linked documentation.

Alternatively, you can buy boxed sets with nice printed manuals in various computer stores in town (e.g., SuSE Linux 9.0 for £35). As of December 2003, the University of Cambridge Computing Service Unix Support also runs a local SuSE Linux ftp mirror, which can be NFS mounted from the server under the directory /linux/suse.

Feedback on the course would be appreciated.