Template talk:Unix commands

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Isn't ssh used more commonly than rlogin these days? Would probably be worth adding if so. Hairy Dude 12:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

ssh redirects to Secure Shell, and that article describes the protocol, not the Unix command. --tyomitch 04:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Should we add a page for information about the unix command? Like Ssh (Unix)? ~a (usertalkcontribs) 22:55, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

The template needs editing[edit]

I'm about to rearrange the template a little: currently it's just too big and clumsy and unwieldy. In particular, I'm going to remove all the red links: they are fine in an article like List of Unix programs, but not in a nav template. --tyomitch 14:33, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Done. The template is 3/4 its former height now. --tyomitch 04:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
How about if it were formatted as in the example below? Then it would be even more compact. — RJH (talk) 15:57, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Unix command line programs (more)
File and file system management
cat | chdir/cd | chmod | chown | chgrp | cp | du | df | file | fsck | ln | ls | lsof | mkdir | more | mount | mv | pwd | rcp | rm | rmdir | split | touch | tree
Process management
anacron | at | chroot | cron/crontab | kill | nice | ps | sleep | screen | time | timex | top | renice | wait

The template is non-unixy[edit]

This template is the bulkiest and offensive template I've seen. It's design insults the simplistic design philosophy of Unix. Simply linking to List of Unix programs and maintaining Category:Unix software seems more than adequate. -- 06:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Lists and categories are not navigational aids. And if you think its so bad, why dont you try to improve it? --larsinio (poke)(prod) 15:13, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the OP, this thing is bloated? I think the only way to improve it is to bury it. Not to mention, this kind of stuff breaks "What links here". --Ashawley (talk) 05:33, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Wall command[edit]

In which unix command category should wall be included? Temporarily I have added it to misc !

IrfanAli 09:33, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

It would, I think, be under the same category as write. I moved it. grendel|khan 12:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

unneeded links[edit]

Could we establish some criterion for what goes in here? I think tree, timex, and nkf are all pushing it, giving their limited installed base. Twinxor t 15:43, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Removed. As for criteria, POSIX should probably suffice, with some additions for GNU Coreutils etc. –EdC 23:11, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Commands in 2 sections - more and less[edit]

Do the moreand less commands really need to be in both the File and file system management: section and the Text processing: section? I think one section is enough. Also, if both more and less belong here, the pg command should be here too. My opinion is that either all three commands should be included in only one section, or only 1 of the commands should be in one section - for consistency's sake. Once we decide the criteria (see above section) - that would answer this issue of which commands, but the multi-section question remains. --Unixguy 13:04, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Command added[edit]

I use the watch command alot and felt that it deserved a small article. Maybe it should be added to the template. Watch_(Unix) Kidane 23:12, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Nice. Added under process management. Btw, Wikipedia talk page etiquette is to add new discussions at the bottom of the page. –EdC 04:20, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for updating the template, and for the heads-up. :) Kidane 19:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I added "exit" to process management. Without it, it's not clear how to terminate a shell process. — Loadmaster 17:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Messed up[edit]

exit_(unix) and mount_(unix) redirect elsewhere. That should not happen and should be repaired... Seeing that I also thought of an alternative > throwing all articles in one, 'unix commands', this would be especially useful in regard to the shortness of the articles in question and the fashion to merge them with something completely irelevant. 22:28, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

 fixed the mount (and exit iirc) redirects

Navbox conversion[edit]

I've converted this into a standard navbox, which should make it more maintainable and makes better use of space. Comments? Chris Cunningham 12:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Chris (aka User:Thumperward), it looks much better now. I might even say more Unixy if that's a word. Thanks and nice job. --Unixguy 16:19, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I split the last four categories into separate sections, otherwise they were all bunched up together. Hopefully everyone thinks this looks better than before. — Loadmaster 17:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it does; that's a huge amount of additional whitespace for comparatively little benefit of clarity. Do you mind if I revert this? We need another way of making the divide clearer without introducing so much dead air. Chris Cunningham 13:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
In light of a lack of opposition, I'm reverting to the single line for less busy categories. Chris Cunningham 23:55, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's uglier that way, and it makes it harder to see the command groups. A little extra whitespace doesn't hurt, especially if it increases readability. — Loadmaster 17:45, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
It's about a 30% increase in the navbox area. It seems bizarre that we even have a sextion for "printing" with only one link in it when we've got a "miscellaneous" section anyway. If we could recategorise the entries in the smaller sections we could give them a "real" row again without too much dead air. Chris Cunningham 10:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Cron vs Crontab[edit]

Why are we linking to crontab which is a redirect to cron? My edit to reflect this reality was reverted; does this make sense to anyone else? --Aquatiki (talk) 12:18, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

This is about Unix commands, not Unix programs. The command used to interact with cron is crontab. Once upon a time (before I merged them), Wikipedia had two separate articles for cron and crontab. And the link should just be to crontab, rather than piped, in case they're split again at some point in the future. Chris Cunningham (talk) 12:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I see: because we type crontab, and this navbox is listing "things we type." Gotcha. --Aquatiki (talk) 05:07, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't the umask command appear somewhere ? I suggest putting it under the filesystem section as done -- (talk) 10:17, 18 August 2008 (UTC) jann@practicefirms.ch

Moved umask to misc. as it is in the list of Unix utilities -- (talk) 06:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC) jann@practicefirms.ch

Actually, umask and cd (just added) manipulate the process state and are implemented on Unix as shell built-in commands for that reason. Tedickey (talk) 14:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The collection[edit]

"Locate" isn't standard on Unix. There are (as noted in the topic) some variants. Tedickey (talk) 13:05, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

There is today 126 commands on this page. What about adding the 185 following others :

addftinfo · afmtodit · arch · ascii · ash · base64 · bash · bashbug · bunzip2 · bzcat · bzcmp · bzdiff · bzegrep · bzfgrep · bzgrep · bzip2 · bzip2recover · bzless · bzmore · chattr · chcon · chflags · conv · crypt · csplit · d2u · date · diff · dig · dir · dircolors · dirname · dnsdomainname · dos2unix · dump · dumper · editrights · egrep · emacs · eqn · ethtool · fgconsole · ftp · getclip · getfacl · gkill · grap2graph · grep · grn · grodvi · groff · groffer · grog · grolbp · grolj4 · grops · grotty · groups · gunzip · gzexe · gzip · halt · host · hostid · hostname · hpftodit · igawk · indxbib · inetutils · info · infokey · install · install-info · ipck · ipcrm · ipcs · iptable · joe · join · launchctl · lessecho · lesskey · link · lkbib · loadkeys · login · lookbib · lpr · lsmod · mail · makeinfo  · man2dvi  · man2html  · manlint  · manpath  · md5sum  · mii-tool · mkfifo  · mkgroup  · mknod  · mkpasswd  · mkshortcut  · mktemp  · mmroff  · modutils  · mountpoint  · msgtool  · nano  · nc  · neqn  · net-tools  · nl  · nohup  · nroff  · od  · oldfind  · patch  · printf  · procps  · ptx  · putclip  · rbash  · readlink  · readshortcut  · realpath  · rebase  · rebaseall  · refer  · regtool  · run  · run-parts  · runcon  · schred  · semstat  · semtool  · seq  · setfacl  · setmetamode  · sh  · sha1sum  · sha224sum  · sha256sum  · sha384sum  · sha512sum  · shadow  · shmtool  · shred  · shuf  · soelim  · ssh  · ssp  · stat  · strace  · stty  · sum  · sync  · sysklogd  · sysvinit  · tar  · tbl  · tcpdump  · tempfile  · texi2dvi  · texi2pdf  · texindex  · tfmtodit  · tracepath  · troff  · tsort  · tty  · u2d  · umount  · uncompress  · unexpand  · unix2dos  · unlink  · updatedb  · users  · util-linux  · vacuum  · vdir  · vdirmktemp  · zcat  · zcmp  · zdiff  · zforcecpio  · zgrepdate  · zlessdd  ? JackPotte (talk) 18:07, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

And reboot, init, halt and shutdown. JackPotte (talk) 14:53, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
A lot of the ones listed above aren't "Unix" commands, but are programs that happen to be available on Unix systems Tedickey (talk) 19:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think that we should do a clear sorting : the commands to add here and those for Portal:Free software. JackPotte (talk) 00:45, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
There it is:
Category Commands
Unix ascii host ifconfig
GNU Project arch
Roff addftinfo afmtodit
BIND domain name server software suite dig
Others ash base64 bash bashbug sh ascii

JackPotte (talk) 00:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually I've understood that we've carefully respected the XCU commands from 1997 in this template, but we can also qualify of Unix commands those from the newer Unix shells: ash, bash, csh, ksh, sh, tcsh, rc, zsh ? Should we create a commands template for each inside the Unix one ? JackPotte (talk) 20:53, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

dc (computer program)[edit]

dc (computer program) is not in the list of standard Unix utilities, per given source. Tedickey (talk) 20:58, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Neither are many of the utilities on the list, and since dc is both common and of historical interest I'm re-adding it. - DNewhall (talk) 16:40, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
There are a large number of interesting programs - but only a hundred or so match the description of the topic.
But using your logic we need to remove at least apropos, pgrep, pkill, pidof, lsof, uptime, locate, and all the networking utilities because they are not "standard". - DNewhall (talk) 15:45, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea Tedickey (talk) 20:18, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Let's also move them into the above board in order to keep a full classification here. JackPotte (talk) 13:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)


ascii isn't standard, isn't provided for instance on Solaris (unless one brings the source in, and compiles it there) Tedickey (talk) 20:46, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

It's not included in most Linux distros either (I tried Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Gentoo), so it doesn't look like a popular thing among Unix-likes either. I'm removing. -- intgr [talk] 15:42, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, I've moved it to the other line, and removed my source from the template page. JackPotte (talk) 13:12, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Despite the fact that About.com calls it a "Linux / Unix Command", the "ascii" entry is just a man page about the ASCII standard, it does not refer to any actual command. Don't use About.com as a source for this template. -- intgr [talk] 15:12, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Locate (Unix)[edit]

That's not found on "all distributions of Unix", but only on some. For instance a quick check on Solaris, AIX, IRIX, Tru64 and HPUX doesn't find it (man locate, apropos locate). As I recall it, outside of GNU utilities, it's not that well-known (although I recall that it did start off as an imitation of a program from Sun). Tedickey (talk) 09:57, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


This section is weak since there's lack of standardization per topic as shown in List of Unix utilities Tedickey (talk) 10:03, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


Can you please add route to that list? (talk) 17:02, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't appear to meet the topic's criteria TEDickey (talk) 17:04, 12 September 2010 (UTC)


Per topic description, and Spell (Unix), this does not "come with most distributions", etc. It's been optional (not installed by default) in most places for more than ten years. TEDickey (talk) 12:44, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

This is not accurate... Spell has always been part of *Unix* (not Linux), and is available on every Unix system I ever used, including Solaris (the last remaining Unix account I have :( ), and on Fedora Linux, while the original Johnson & McIlroy code is no longer there, the "spell" command *is* available, and pipes aspell and sort -u to exactly replicate the original "spell" behavior. So basically, spell is available like it always was - it's just not as useful as it used to be. Arguably, this is just as true for many of the other Unix utilities which aren't as useful as they used to be 40 years ago - e.g., when was the last time you used od? finger? rlogin? ed??? On the other hand, I see that you have on the list things which are definitely NOT part of standard Unix, and even things where aren't even commands (e.g., "bg"), so I think this list definitely needs an overhaul...

Nyh (talk) 12:55, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Offhand I was recalling the *BSD's (perhaps you don't consider them Unix), which do not provide spell except as an add-on. However, I can check the various vendor Unix's and give a summary here. Still, "legacy" has its own meaning, which you did not respond to. TEDickey (talk) 13:05, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Unix means . . . Unix?[edit]

The present owner of the trademark UNIX is The Open Group, an industry standards consortium. Only systems fully compliant with and certified to the Single UNIX Specification qualify as "UNIX"

These are the tools in the SUS: admin alias ar asa at awk basename batch bc bg c99 cal cat cd cflow chgrp chmod chown cksum cmp comm command compress cp crontab csplit ctags cut cxref date dd delta df diff dirname du echo ed env ex expand expr false fc fg file find fold fort77 fuser gencat get getconf getopts grep hash head iconv id ipcrm ipcs jobs join kill lex link ln locale localedef logger logname lp ls m4 mailx make man mesg mkdir mkfifo more mv newgrp nice nl nm nohup od paste patch pathchk pax pr printf prs ps pwd qalter qdel qhold qmove qmsg qrerun qrls qselect qsig qstat qsub read renice rm rmdel rmdir sact sccs sed sh sleep sort split strings strip stty tabs tail talk tee test time touch tput tr true tsort tty type ulimit umask unalias uname uncompress unexpand unget uniq unlink uucp uudecode uuencode uustat uux val vi wait wc what who write xargs yacc zcat

If it isn't on this list, it probably doesn't belong in the template. I'm going to be bold and remove the obvious ones like which (Unix) and info (Unix), as these aren't even in the Linux Standard Base. Please back up any arguments with an alternative suggestion for clear-cut criteria to stop years of bickering on this talk page. Krushia (talk) 00:58, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

commands vs. programs & standards[edit]

in an inlined annotation to top (Unix) there is a comment stating that commands are those whats built into the shell (or command interpreter) whilst lots of other character sequences do refer to programs meaning console applications external to the shell. BTW some shells like busybox for the embedded sector do integrate lots of external program functionality in a multi function callable binary for the sake of saving memory footprint and maybe startup times. The overall approach of selecting a standard for the template sounds good. But please(!) tell which standard the list is based upon. Else you will only confuse the readers. Further a hint for the off-standard or 2nd standard commands/programs will help the reader much in understanding the "system". --Alexander.stohr (talk) 15:06, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Terminal pagers[edit]

@Tedickey: Hi.

I just saw this revert: Revision 759388663. What guideline are you talking about?

Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 07:26, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Of the five listed, 2 were topical (the others aren't part of a standard Unix system), one was already listed anyway (and the other is rarely used) and making a new subtopic for the two would not have improved the template. Adding lines to a template makes it less accessible, in any case. That's in line with previous random edits (and removals) as discussed on this page TEDickey (talk) 09:15, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
@Tedickey: On my count, that leaves out three links that are still eligible for inclusion on this template.
In the interest of keeping the conflict to a minimum, I think you should accommodate those links yourself in a way that you see fit. Or of course, if you give me your consent, I will accommodate them somewhere in the middle.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 11:01, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
The other three are not in standard Unix. That's easily seen from my first reply. If you want to go into wikipedian-originated information, you might suggest a line for text editors (there are several...). But the topic is clearly delimited, no need for that. TEDickey (talk) 21:59, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Software development[edit]

I added a software development group/section to the navbox. I realize there are a huge number of such tools in general but I believe those that are listed as part of the Unix/POSIX standard should be listed here (so long as they are notable enough to have their own articles of course). Since this is a somewhat significant change I thought I would post here as a place for comments on the matter. Thanks. (talk) 01:00, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

ctags is debatable (most people would expect the compiler cc to be listed, but of course the compiler name is debatable as well). TEDickey (talk) 01:11, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
debatable how? ctags is in the specification and apparently notable enough to have an article here (perhaps that is the part you consider debatable?). "cc" is not in the current specification (it was in issue 5 XCU: cc and c89), however, c99 and fort77 are. They could perhaps be added as well, however, I did not find articles that directly corresponded to such things (one could argue for links like: c99 and fort77). (talk) 01:43, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
ctags is debatable for the usual reasons: it is not as necessary to development as the other tools in your list, while the compiler is debatable since few people use the names that the committee settled on (cc is more commonly used -- as an alias) TEDickey (talk) 02:11, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I believe how necessary to development something is, is not really a topic for here (unless you are arguing that ctags should be in a different group in this navbox) but more of a topic for the standards committee developing SUS/POSIX. (talk) 17:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Recent removals[edit]

Given that the current template contains aprox. a dozen or more UNIX commands that are not part of the Single UNIX specification, I am going to delete them all unless we agree that this template uses a wider definition that includes "adb", "ld" and "truss". Schily (talk) 10:56, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Support both, although I have no idea what the criteria could be for the latter. Still, what you do is better than sitting on the fence and misinforming. —Codename Lisa (talk) 12:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Could you please explain this? I have no idea what you like to tell here. Schily (talk) 12:37, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I thought I am being clear. You proposed we either delete several links or expand the definition. I support both, prefering the first option. Either of the two options is better than having irrelevant links. —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 13:10, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Enhancing the criteria could be done as we have a separate article that lists all UNIX commands that are listed by OpenGroup.
  • Finding the right criteria definition might be harder. How about adding commands that are part of a classical "genetic" derived UNIX? This would still need to remove a few of the commands that are currently on the list. Schily (talk) 13:47, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I too support making the template adhere better to the definition, however, I believe this would be better served by making removals than expanding the definition because otherwise the navbox would become unwieldy and cease to be useful. That said, I would be open to adding more sections on List of Unix commands (which the navbox links to) to list other common Unix commands and which editions of "Unix" they were inherently a part of. I too noticed there were commands in the navbox that were not part of SUS (e.g., ssh) and considered their removal. (talk) 17:33, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, the biggest problem from enhancing the definition would be to find an agreement on what should be in that enhanced list. Schily (talk) 13:32, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I fixed the first two lines.... If you do not like this, make a useful proposal... Schily (talk) 13:58, 8 March 2017 (UTC)