Telnet Guide

Telnet is a way to log in to your server and make live changes, rather than uploading files. It is often referred to as a shell account, or having shell access. Telnet connects you to the UNIX operating system, which looks very similar to DOS. You may download telnet software from almost any download site on the Web. If you are using Windows 95/98, there is a built in telnet program that you may use - Go to Start --> Run --> type in telnet.

Please note: All UNIX and Telnet commands are case sensitive.

UNIX is an operating system with a "command line" interface. Essentially, this means that there are no windows and no mouse interaction - everything is typed in manually. If your command is executed successfully, UNIX will prompt you for another command without giving you an error. However, if an error does occur, UNIX will tell you.

The command line usually has three components: the command to run, the filename to use the command on, and any number of switches the command can use for various options. Switches are most commonly used with a hyphen preceding them. For example, some switches for the command "ls" are:

$ ls -l (dash-ell, long format)
$ ls -a (dash-Ay, show all files)

Directory Structure

In UNIX (through telnet), it is extremely important to know where you are on the server. UNIX is not very communicative, so you must always be sure you are in the correct directory when making changes. In order to navigate through your server, here are a few commands you should know.

pwd = Print Working Directory
ls = List files in directory
cd [directory path] = change into a certain directory
more <filename> = view a file named filename one page worth of text at a time.
man <commandname> = display the manual for the given command

UNIX Commands


  • cd [directory path] - Change directories. Example: cd /httpd/htdocs
  • pwd - Display the directory you are currently in
  • ls - List directories
    • ls -f - Short directory list
    • ls -l - Detailed directory list: shows file protection, date, groups and size
    • ls -a - List all files, including hidden files
  • cd..- Move up one directory level

File Utilities

  • cp <filename> <newfilename> - Copy old file to new file
  • mv <filename> <newfilename> - Rename a file or directory, or move a file or directory
  • mkdir - Create a new directory
  • rm <filename> (rm -r <directoryname>)- Delete a file or directory
  • chmod <newpermissions> <filename> - Change the attributes (permissions) on a file or directory

Help and Information

  • man <commandname> - System command information
  • man [program name] - Manuals and instructions for a given program. Example: man perl
  • whereis <filename> - Find out what directory a file is in
  • apropos <keyword> - Find documentation

Getting System Information

  • date - Gives you the date
  • daytime - Tells you the time in words
  • time - Displays a 24-hour clock
  • ps -aux - Provides all processes currently being executed by all users

Printing (Display) to screen

  • cat <filename> - Show the whole file
  • more <filename> - Show the file one screen (page) at a time
    • <SPACE> For next screen (page down) - Note: hit the space bar, do not type "<space>"
    • q - To quit
    • h - For help
  • CTRL+S - Stop the screen display
  • CTRL+Q - Resume the screen display
  • CTRL+D - EOF (End of File) at the terminal
  • ps - List processes
  • kill <processID> - Stop a specific process number found with 'ps'

Where can I learn more?

Check out these UNIX tutorials and reference guides to help you learn more about basic UNIX commands and how they are used.

  • Unix is a Four Letter Word

^ Top

©2002 24/7 Solutions Online. All rights reserved.