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Introduction to the Command Line Interface

Audience Computational skills required Duration
Biologists None 2-hour workshop (~2 hours of trainer-led time)


This repository has teaching materials for a 2 hour, hands-on Introduction to the command-line interface workshop led at a relaxed pace.

Many data analysis tools and computational resources require users to have a basic working knowledge of the command line interface (also referred to as UNIX, Linux, bash, shell). In this workshop participants will learn basic commands for navigating the file system, exploring file contents, and performing basic operations, such as moving, copying, and renaming files/folders.

Learning Objectives

These materials are developed for a trainer-led workshop, but also amenable to self-guided learning.


Lessons Estimated Duration
Introduction to the command line 75 min
Searching and redirection 45 min


Introduction to Shell: Dataset

Installation Requirements

Mac users: No installation requirements.

Windows users: GitBash

These materials have been developed by members of the teaching team at the Harvard Chan Bioinformatics Core (HBC). These are open access materials distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.