There are three computers in the Mudd Lab running Linux that we will be using for this class. If you are running Linux on your own computer, you will be able to use it for this class, although there might be some software that you have to install.
I am writing these instructions with the assumption that you are sitting at one of the machines in the Mudd Lab. You can also log in remotely from a Macintosh, Wintel or other Linux machine, but if you are doing that, you are on your own.
The three machines are named earl, otto, and arthur (there is a label on each to identify it). The other machines you should know about is alma, which is the departmental server. Alma lives in my office.
In general, info pages are easier to read than man pages, but you will often want to read or print both. Both sets of pages are organized as an alphabetical list of commands, which is less than useful when you are trying to figure out how to do something.
In general this semester I will tell you the names of the commands you want to use and leave it up to you to find out about them.
The file browser should start you out in your home directory. The name of your home directory has two parts: the name of the machine where your home directory resides and your login. In general, you will get the best performance and reliability if you log in to the machine where your home directory resides, but of course that will not always be possible.
There are also a column of icons along the left side of the screen and a row of control widgets across the bottom. I will leave it up to you to explore them at your whim.