SSBW - Linux Tutorial 1: Basics

Mike Brudzinski, Miami University-Oxford

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In this interactive tutorial built for a learning management system, students will 1) use a virtual machine to interact with a Linux command line environment, 2) navigate directories and pathnames in Linux, 3) manipulate files and directories (list, copy, move, delete), and 4) retrieve information from files.

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The IRIS Seismology Skill Building Workshop (SSBW), which is a free, online, open-access, large-enrollment, 12-week summer workshop for upper level undergraduates.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

This assignment does not assume a person has interacted with Linux before and tries to build fundamental knowledge and computing concepts.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is assignment number 1 of 35 in the Seismology Skill Building Workshop (SSBW).


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Proficiency with navigating a Linux command line environment, file and directory administration, and retrieving information from files.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Retrieving relevant information from digital sources to accomplish tasks, using correct programming syntax, evaluating and describing computing output in the context of broader concepts.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description and Teaching Materials

Students will:
1. Login to a virtual machine to interact with a Linux command line environment
2. List, create, and navigate files, directories, and pathnames in a Linux environment
3. Copy, move, and delete files and directories
4. Display and search the contents of a file from the command line
5. Use the wc command to count the number of lines in a file


Teaching Notes and Tips

This assignment was constructed in the Moodle learning management system, and has been exported in the GIFT format. More information about the syntax of this format can be found here:


This assignment is automatically graded by the learning management system. The number of questions of each type used are:
13 multiple choice questions
1 multiple answer question
1 matching question
1 true/false question
6 numeric questions (quantifying output)
5 short answer (auto-graded) question

References and Resources

During the Seismology Skill Building Workshop, students are provided with a virtual Linux machine that was tailored to include the software specifically needed to complete the assignments. This software is all freely available on the internet, but interested parties are encouraged to contact the instructor for access to this tailored virtual machine.