Practical Unix

NOTE: Weekly lab sessions start Week 2 and end Week 7. You may attend either lab session per week as they both cover the same material. 

This course is Credit/No Credit. In order to receive credit, you must email Sofia ( and Erin ( with the solutions for the week's lab. If there is no exercise due on a particular week, you can just send an email confirming you've watched the week's videos. Due to COVID-19, we'll be having office hours through Zoom in case students need help with the week's content or any of the problems in the lab.

We are finalizing the time for office hours but it will likely be on Tuesday morning and Thursday night (for 2 hours each).

Practical Unix is a practical introduction to using the Unix set of operating systems with a focus on Linux command line skills.

The course has videos to introduce some commands and how to use them generally and lab exercises to solidify understanding and go beyond the material in the videos. Much of dealing with the command line involves knowing how to best use Google and manual pages to figure things out, so these lab exercises won't tell you how to do everything.

Topics include: grep and regular expressions, shells and ZSH, Vim and Emacs, basic and advanced GDB features, permissions, working with the file system, revision control, Unix utilities, environment customization, and using Python for shell scripts. Topics may be added over time.

If you have questions about the Stanford course, please see or email Sofia ( and Erin (

If you are NOT a Stanford student and have questions, email Sam.