Useful Unix ToolsThe purpose of this lab is to make you familiar these computers. The operating system is Redhat 9, one of the more popular versions of linux/unix. You will first learn the basics of the desktop environment (gnome). Then we will go into more useful tools, programs, scripting languages, etc. These tools are worth learning since they will make things much easier when we actually start performing simulations.
- Gnome - the Redhat Desktop Environment
This is the place to start. If you are reading this, you have managed to open up a web browser, but this page will introduce you to other features of the gnome desktop. Feel free to try out some of the other items under the start menu (the little red hat in the bottom left corner).
- Bash - your shell environment
Now that you have added the terminal launcher to your desktop, open up a terminal and learn your way around bash.
- Vi - the world's best text editor
Sure, there are other options like gedit, emacs or pico, but why bother? Vi does everything you want, and for manipulating the types of files that we deal with every day, there is no better tool. You just need a few simple commands.
- Grep - finding things in files
You generate lots of data running simulations. Grep is a useful utility for finding specific entries or lines in a file. Think of this as a "find" command.
- Awk - need I say anything more?
Awk is a powerful, yet simple scripting language that allows you to easily manipulate files (among other things). One of the more useful features is its ability to interpret columns in a file.
- Sed - the stream editor
Once you find things with grep or awk, you may want to alter or replace a piece. Remember this question from your GRE: grep is to find as sed is to replace.
- Python and Perl
Sometime you need a bit more power than awk can provide. Turn here.
- Plotting data
When you generate lots of data, you need to plot things. Here you will learn the basic usage of gnuplot.