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Lesson 9

UNIX Operating System Conclusion

This module discussed the Origin of the UNIX Operating System and about the split between Berkeley (BSD) and System V UNIX systems. You saw how to find the type of your system using the uname command, how to acquire root privileges using the su command, and how to read, update, and configure the online documentation. You are now ready to explore UNIX files.

Key terms

In this module, we used the following terms:
  1. BSD: BSD is a type of UNIX operating system derived from the work done at Computer Science laboratories at the University of California at Berkeley. The most commonly encountered BSD system is SunOS version 4.3. Berkeley's BSD version 4.4 is also fairly common.
  2. System V: System V is a type of UNIX operating system that arose from an alliance of ATT and Sun.
    Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX are the most commonly encountered System V operating systems.
  3. Linux: Linux is a version of UNIX derived from the work of Linus Torvalds, who wrote the basics of the operating system himself. His work was picked up by people around the world who, in a remarkable cooperative effort, wrote a complete UNIX system from scratch.
  4. Root account: A special user account that has absolute power over all aspects of system operation.
  5. root privileges: When one has root privileges, one has the powers associated with the root account.
  6. superuser: A special user account that has root privileges. You can become a superuser by typing the su command without arguments and giving the system's root password.
  7. shell: The shell is a program that interprets your commands and passes them to the operating system for further processing. You enter commands at the shell prompt (also called the system prompt or command prompt).
  8. subshell: A subshell is any shell that is started from another shell.


In this module, we discussed the following commands:
Command Purpose
uname Determines the operating system name and version and the machine name and architecture.
su With no arguments, starts a root subshell (prompting for the root password).
touch Creates a new, empty text file.
suspend Puts a shell in the background; useful for moving between a root shell and a regular shell.
fg Resumes a suspended subshell.
man Retrieves online documentation.
whereis Finds documentation files, source, and binary for a command.
exit Quits a shell.

System Administration - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to take a multiple-choice quiz covering what you learned in this module.
System Administration - Quiz