UNIX/ MINIX Lab #1: Basics of UNIX and UNIX commands


Run your MINIX virtual machine using VMWARE player. Login into MINIX as root first and do the following things.  Note that

·        You should use man xxx to figure out the usage of a particular UNIX command xxx if you are not sure about its usage.

·        You can switch back to your Windows environment by pressing ctrl+alt.

·        You should include a brief summary of what you encountered in this lab in this week’s reading report.



  1. Determine the date, the current directory you are in at the moment, the default version of shell used, the contents of the current directory, and the processes that are running. . (Use commands: date, pwd, echo, l,  $SHELL, ps)
  2. Create at least two directories. Use cat and redirect to create some txt files in these directories. Copy files between directories, move files from one directory to another, and remove some files. (Use commands: mkdir, cat, cp, mv, rm)
  3. Use gzip, gunzip, tar to compress, decompress, archive, and extract files.
  4. Use adduser to create at least one user account, say guest in the group other, use su guest to temporarily become the new user guest, use passwd to change the password of the user (remember this password) , and exit to return to the super user root login section. Type exit to logout.
  5. Login in as the new user guest using the password you just created. Use cd .. to move upward in the directory hierarchy and use ls -l  to see the contents of these directories. Are you able to cd into the directory  /etc? If so, try to use cat to see the contents of  /etc/passwd and /etc/group. Use ls -l  under /etc to see who is the owner of these two files. Do you think a general user like guest should be allowed to do these things here? Type exit to logout.
  6. Login again as root and use chmod to change the permissions of the /etc directory and its contents to deny the other users the from accessing the contents of /etc. Type exit to logout.
  7. Login again as guest.  Check whether you can still do things listed in step 5.