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Special Signs

In UNIX special signs are used, all with different importance. These are very handy to know and makes work with UNIX much easier.

~ Means "this directory is located in the home directory"
ra> cd ~aaabb123 (the home directory for user 'aaabb123')
/ As a single sign it referes to the root in the system.
ls / (list all files at root level)
* Means all files.
ra> ls lab* (lists all files starting with 'lab')
ra> rm bla* (remove all files starting with 'bla')
. The dot (fullstop) represents the path to current working directory. Se example with the cp command
$ The dollar sign relates to the value represented by a specified variable set by the command
ra> set var=14
(advanced users only)
& The '&' sign runs a program in the background, this means that you still can use the UNIX window while your using the background program.
Not running a program with '&' will prevent you from working in the window until the program is finished.
ra> emacs & (starts the program 'emacs' in background)