Usage of the command line in a Linux environment

Basic usage of the command line is a prerequisite to all the workshops proposed by the DigitalSkills and SciCoS. Hence we propose a workshop to introduce the usage of the command line to young researchers.

The command line is a fantastic tool to work efficiently with a computer. It offers numerous advantages compared to classical tools depending on a GUI. If computer scientists use it, there is probably a good reason for that.

This workshop is an introduction. You will learn to type your first command, learn to navigate the filesystem and inspect files, use the help to understand or find a command and connect to a remote computer.

Despite the workshop is focused on the Linux operating system, most of its content can also be applied to Mac OS.


No prerequisite are requested for this workshop, except having basic skills in using a computer.

Please note that if you are familiar with the command line, this workshop is not intended for you as it is dedicated to begginers.

Material needed

Participants should come with their personal computer and should be connected to the University of Geneva's WiFi. Rooms may be equipped with Desktop computers with virtual desktop infrastructure but this depends on rooms availability at the time of the workshop. Your machine should have command line tool installed:

  • Linux has a default terminal emulator installed with your desktop environment.
  • Mac OS has a default terminal emulator installed.
  • Windows users can use one of the following solution:
    • Install the Linux subsystem. Please check the documentation here.
    • Install a linux virtual machine. You can use VirtualBox with Ubuntu, there is a full step by step tutorial here.
    • Install Cygwin, you can find install instruction here.


Registration to workshop is mandatory. Date, location and availability depend on the session. The registration forms can be found on the scicos events Indico website. Please note that the number of participants is limited to ensure proper students supervision.