Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (HP-UX-11.11)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

      Introduction - an introduction to the HP-UX operating system and the
      HP-UX Reference

      HP-UX is the Hewlett-Packard Company's implementation of an operating
      system that is compatible with various industry standards.  It is
      based on the UNIX(Reg.) System V Release 4 operating system and
      includes important features from the Fourth Berkeley Software

      Improvements include enhanced capabilities and other features,
      developed by HP to make HP-UX a very powerful, useful, and reliable
      operating system, capable of supporting a wide range of applications
      ranging from simple text processing to sophisticated engineering
      graphics and design.  It can readily be used to control instruments
      and other peripheral devices.  Real-time capabilities further expand
      the flexibility of HP-UX as a powerful tool for solving tough problems
      in design, manufacturing, business, and other areas where
      responsiveness and performance are important.

      Extensive international language support enables HP-UX to interact
      with users in any of dozens of human languages.  HP-UX interfaces
      easily with local area networks and resource-sharing facilities.	By
      using industry-standard protocols, HP-UX provides flexible interaction
      with other computers and operating systems.  Optional software
      products extend HP-UX capabilities into a broad range of specialized

      The HP-UX Reference is not a learning tool for beginners.	 It is
      primarily a reference tool that is most useful for experienced users
      of UNIX or UNIX-like systems.  If you are not already familiar with
      UNIX or HP-UX, refer to the series of Beginner's Guides, tutorial
      manuals, and other learning documents supplied with your system or
      available separately.  System implementation and maintenance details
      are explained in the Managing Systems and Workgroups manual.

      The contents of the HP-UX Reference and its on-line counterpart are a
      number of independent entries called manpages.  These are also called
      manual entries or reference pages.

      For convenient reference, the manpages are divided into eight
      specialized sections.  The printed manual also has a table of contents
      for each volume and a composite index.

      Each manpage consists of one or more printed pages, with the manpage
      name and section number printed in the upper corners.  Manpages are
      arranged alphabetically within each section of the reference, except
      for the intro page at the beginning of each section.  Manpages are
      referred to by name and section number, in the form pagename(section).

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 1 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

      The manpages are available on-line through the man command if the
      manpages are present on the system.  Refer to the man(1) manpage in
      Section 1 for more information.

      Each page in the printed manual has two page numbers, printed at the
      bottom of the page.  The center page number starts over with page 1 at
      the beginning of each new manpage; it is placed between two dashes in
      normal typeface.	The number printed at the outside corner on each
      page sequences the printed pages within a section.  Users usually
      locate manpages by the alphabetic headings at the top of the page as
      when reading a dictionary.

      Some manpages describe two or more commands or routines.	In such
      cases, the manpage is usually named for the first command or function
      that appears in the NAME section.	 Occasionally, a manpage name
      appears as a prefix to the NAME section.	In such instances, the name
      describes the commands or functions in more general terms.  For
      example, the acct(1M) manpage describes the acctdisk, acctdusg,
      accton, and acctwtmp commands, while the string(3C) manpage describes
      many character string functions.

      The various sections are described as follows:

      Volume Table of Contents (Printed Manual)

	   A complete listing of all manpages in the order they appear in
	   each section, as well as alphabetically intermixed lists of all
	   command, function, and feature names that are the different from
	   the manpage where they appear

      Section 1: User Commands

	   Programs that are usually invoked directly by users or from
	   command language procedures (scripts).

      Section 1M: System Administration Commands

	   Commands used for system installation and maintenance, including
	   boot processes, crash recovery, system integrity testing, and
	   other needs.	 Most commands in this section require the superuser

      Section 2: System Calls

	   Entries into the HP-UX kernel, including the C-language
	   interface.  These topics are primarily of interest to

      Section 3: Library Functions

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 2 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

	   Available subroutines that reside (in binary form) in various
	   system libraries.  These topics are primarily of interest to

      Section 4: File Formats

	   The structure of various types of files, primarily of interest to
	   administrators and programmers.  For example, the link editor
	   output file format is described in a.out(4).	 Files that are used
	   only by a single command (such as intermediate files used by
	   assemblers) are not described.  C-language declarations
	   corresponding to the formats in Section 4 can be found in the
	   directories /usr/include and /usr/include/sys.

      Section 5: Miscellaneous

	   A variety of information, such as descriptions of header files,
	   character sets, macro packages, and other topics.

      Section 7: Device Special Files

	   The characteristics of special (device) files that provide the
	   link between HP-UX and system I/O devices.  The names for each
	   topic usually refer to the type of I/O device rather than to the
	   names of individual special files.

      Section 9: Introduction and Glossary

	   A general introduction (this one) and definitions of terms used
	   in the HP-UX environment.

      Composite Index (Printed Manual)

	   An alphabetical listing of keywords and topics based on the NAME
	   section near the beginning of each manpage as well as other
	   information, cross-referenced to manpage names and sections.	 The
	   index also contains references to built-in features in the
	   various command interpreters ("shells").

      All manpages follow an established section heading format, but not all
      section headings are included in each manpage.  A few manpages have
      self-explanatory specialized headings.

      NAME Gives the names of the commands, functions, or features and
	   briefly states the purpose.

	   Summarizes the syntax of the command or program entity.  A few
	   conventions are used:

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 3 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

	   Constant-width characters indicate literal characters that should
	   be entered exactly as they appear.  These characters appear in
	   bold in the online manpages.

	   Italic strings represent variable elements that should be
	   replaced with appropriate values.

	   Roman square brackets ([]) indicate that the contents are

	   Roman braces ({}) indicate a required element, usually in a

	   Ellipses (...) indicate that the previous element can be

	   Note: An argument beginning with a dash (-), a plus sign (+), or
	   an equal sign (=) is often defined as a command option, even if
	   it appears in a position where a file name could appear.
	   Therefore, it is unwise to have files names that begin with -, +,
	   or =.

	   Discusses the function and behavior of each entry.

	   Information under this heading pertains to programming for
	   various spoken languages.  Typical entries indicate support for
	   single- or multibyte characters, the effect of language-related
	   environment variables on system behavior, and other related

	   Information under this heading is applicable only if you are
	   using the network feature described there (such as NFS).

	   Describes the values returned by function calls or in the return
	   code by commands.

	   Describes diagnostic information that may be produced.  Self-
	   explanatory messages are not listed.

	   Lists function error conditions (set in errno) and their
	   corresponding error messages.

	   Provides examples of typical usage.

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 4 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

	   Describes potential problems and deficiencies.

	   Describes variations in HP-UX operation that are related to the
	   use of specific hardware or combinations of hardware.

	   Indicates the origin of the software documented by the manpage.
	   Unless noted otherwise, the source of an entry is System V.

	   Lists file names that are used or affected by the program or

      SEE ALSO
	   Provides pointers to related manpages and other documentation.

	   For each command or subroutine entry point addressed by one or
	   more of the following industry standards, this section lists the
	   standard specifications to which that HP-UX component conforms.

	   The various standards are:

	   AES	       OSF Application Environment Specification

	   ANSI C      ANSI X3.159-1989

	   POSIX.1     IEEE Standard 1003.1-1988 (IEEE Computer Society)
		       (Portable Operating System Interface for Computer

	   POSIX.2     IEEE Standard 1003.2-1990 (IEEE Computer Society)
		       (Portable Operating System Interface for Computer

	   POSIX.4     IEEE Standard 1003.1b-1993 (IEEE Computer Society)
		       (Portable Operating System Interface for Computer

	   FIPS 151-1  Federal Information Processing Standard 151-1
		       (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

	   FIPS 151-2  Federal Information Processing Standard 151-2
		       (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

	   SVID2       System V Interface Definition Issue 2

	   SVID3       System V Interface Definition Issue 3

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 5 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

	   XPG2	       X/Open Portability Guide Issue 2 (X/Open, Ltd.)

	   XPG3	       X/Open Portability Guide Issue 3 (X/Open, Ltd.)

	   XPG4	       X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4 (X/Open, Ltd.)

	   XPG4.2      X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4 (X/Open, Ltd.)
		       Version 2

      This is a very brief overview of how to use the HP-UX system: how to
      log in and log out, how to communicate through your machine, and how
      to run a program.

      HP-UX uses control characters to perform certain functions.  Control
      characters are generally shown in the form ^x, such as ^D for
      Control-D.  Hold down the Control (Ctrl) key while you press the
      character key.

    Logging In
      To log in you must have a valid user name and password, which can be
      obtained from your system administrator.

      When a connection has been established, the system displays login: on
      your terminal.  Type your user name and press the Return key.  Enter
      your password (it is not echoed by the system) and press Return.

      A list of copyright notices and a message-of-the-day may greet you
      before the first prompt.

      It is important that you type your login name with lowercase letters,
      if possible.  If you type uppercase letters, HP-UX assumes that your
      terminal cannot generate lowercase letters, and treats subsequent
      uppercase input as lowercase.

      When you log in successfully, the system starts your login shell.	 The
      default is the POSIX shell, /usr/bin/sh.	The POSIX shell (and its
      predecessors, the Korn and Bourne shells) use $ as the default prompt.
      The C shell uses %.

      See login(1) for more on login, passwd(1) to change your password,
      chsh(1) to change your login shell.

    Logging Out
      You can log out of the shells by typing an exit command or the eof
      (end-of-file) character (see the Special Interactive Characters
      subsection below).  The shell terminates and the login: prompt appears
      again.  (If you are using the C, Korn, or POSIX shells, respectively,
      see csh(1), ksh(1), or sh-posix(1) for information about the ignoreeof
      special command.)

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 6 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

    How to Communicate Through Your Terminal
      HP-UX gathers keyboard input characters and saves them in a buffer.
      The accumulated characters are not passed to the shell or other
      program until you type Return.

      HP-UX terminal input/output is full-duplex.  It has full read-ahead,
      which means that you can type at any time, even while a program is
      printing on your display or terminal.  Of course, if you type during
      output, the output display will have the input characters interspersed
      in it.  However, whatever you type will be saved and interpreted in
      the correct sequence.  There is a limit to the amount of read-ahead,
      but it is generous and not likely to be exceeded unless the system is
      severely overloaded or operating abnormally.  When the read-ahead
      limit is exceeded, the system throws away all the saved characters.

      stty(1) tells you how to describe the characteristics of your terminal
      to the system.  profile(4) explains how to accomplish this task
      automatically every time you log in.

    Special Interactive Characters
      A number of special characters are used to control the input and
      output of your terminal.	These characters have defaults and can be
      redefined with the stty command (see stty(1)).

	   stty		   Default At Login	       Common
	   Name	   Character (ASCII Name; Key Names)   Redefinition
	   eof	   ^D (EOT)

	   erase   #				       ^H (BS; Backspace)
	   kill	   @				       ^U (NAK), ^X (CAN)

	   intr	   ^? (DEL; Delete, Rub, Rubout)       ^C (ETX)
	   quit	   ^\ (FS)
	   start   ^Q (DC1; X-ON)
	   stop	   ^S (DC3; X-OFF)

      The eof character terminates "file" input from the terminal, as read
      by programs and scripts.	By extension, eof can also terminate the
      shell (see the Logging Out subsection above).

      The kill character deletes all characters typed before it on a
      terminal input line.  The erase character erases the last character
      typed.  Successive uses of erase will erase characters back to, but
      not beyond, the beginning of the input line.

      The intr character generates an interrupt signal that bypasses the
      input buffer.  This signal generally causes whatever program you are
      running to terminate.  It can be used to stop a long printout that you

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 7 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

      don't want.  However, programs can arrange either to ignore this
      signal altogether, or to be notified when it happens (instead of being
      terminated).  For example, the vi editor catches interrupts and stops
      what it is doing, instead of terminating, so that an interrupt can be
      used to halt an editing operation without losing the file being

      The quit character generates a quit signal that bypasses the input
      buffer and most program traps and causes a running program to
      terminate.  It can cause a core dump in the current directory.

      The stop character can be used to pause output to the terminal.  It is
      commonly used on video terminals to suspend output to the display
      while you read what is already being displayed.  You can then resume
      output by typing the start character.  When stop and start are used to
      suspend or resume output, they bypass the keyboard command-line buffer
      and are not passed to the program.  However, any other characters
      typed on the keyboard are saved and used as input later in the

      The eof, erase, and kill characters can be used as normal text
      characters if you escape them with a preceding \, as in \^D.
      Therefore, to erase a \, you need two erases.

      The intr, quit, start, and stop characters cannot be escaped on the
      input line.

    End-of-Line and Tab Characters
      Besides adapting to the speed of the terminal, HP-UX tries to be
      intelligent as to whether you have a terminal with a newline (line-
      feed) key, or whether it must be simulated with a return/line-feed
      character pair.  In the latter case, all incoming return characters
      are changed to line-feed characters (the standard line delimiter), and
      a return/line-feed pair is echoed to the terminal.  If you get into
      the wrong mode, use the stty command to correct it (see stty(1)).

      Tab characters are used freely in HP-UX source programs.	If your
      terminal does not have the tab function, you can arrange to have tab
      characters changed into spaces during output, and echoed as spaces
      during input.  The stty command sets or resets this mode.	 By default,
      the system assumes that tabs are set every eight character positions.
      The tabs command (see tabs(1)) can set tab stops on your terminal, if
      the terminal supports tabs.

    How to Run a Program
      When you have successfully logged into HP-UX, the shell monitors input
      from your terminal.  The shell accepts typed lines from the terminal,
      splits them into command names and arguments, then executes the
      command.	The command can be the name of a shell built-in, an
      executable script of commands, or an executable program.	There is
      nothing special about system-provided commands, except that they are

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 8 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

      kept in directories where the shell can find them.  You can also keep
      commands in your own directories and arrange for the shell to find
      them there.

      The command name is the first word on an input line to the shell; the
      command and its arguments are separated from one another by blanks
      (one or more space and/or tab characters).

      When a program terminates, the shell ordinarily regains control and
      prompts you to indicate that it is ready for another command.  The
      shell has many other capabilities, which are described in detail in
      the appropriate manpages: sh-posix(1) for the POSIX shell, ksh(1) for
      the Korn shell, sh-bourne(1) for the Bourne shell, or csh(1) for the C

    The Current Directory
      HP-UX has a file system arranged in a hierarchy of directories.  When
      the system administrator gave you a user name, he or she also created
      a directory for you (ordinarily with the same name as your user name,
      and known as your login or home directory).  When you log in, that
      directory becomes your current or working directory, and any file name
      you type is assumed to be in that directory by default.  Because you
      are the owner of this directory, you have full permission to read,
      write, alter, or destroy its contents.  The permissions you have for
      other directories and files will have been granted or denied to you by
      their respective owners, or by the system administrator.	To change
      the current working directory use cd(1).

    Path Names
      To refer to files not in the current directory, you must use a path
      name.  Full (absolute) path names begin with /, which is the name of
      the root directory of the whole file system.  After the slash comes
      the name of each directory containing the next subdirectory (followed
      by a /), until finally the file name is reached (for example,
      /usr/ae/filex refers to file filex in directory ae, while ae is itself
      a subdirectory of usr; usr is a subdirectory of the root directory).
      See glossary(9) for a formal definition of path name.

      If your current directory contains subdirectories, the path names of
      files in them begin with the name of the corresponding subdirectory
      (without a prefixed /).  Generally, a path name can be used anywhere a
      file name is required.

      Important commands that modify the contents of directories are cp, mv,
      and rm which respectively copy, move (that is, rename, relocate, or
      both), and remove files.	To determine the status of files or the
      contents of directories, use the ls command.  Use mkdir to make
      directories, rmdir to destroy them, and mv to rename them (see cp(1),
      ls(1), mkdir(1), mv(1), rm(1), and rmdir(1)).

 Hewlett-Packard Company	    - 9 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

    Writing a Program
      To enter the text of a source program into an HP-UX file, use a text
      editing program such as vi, ex, or ed (see vi(1), ex(1), and ed(1)).
      The three principal languages available under HP-UX are C (see
      cc_bundled(1) and cc(1)), FORTRAN (see f77(1)), and Pascal (see
      pc(1)).  After the program text has been entered with the editor and
      written into a file (whose name has the appropriate suffix), you can
      give the name of that file to the appropriate language processor as an
      argument.	 Normally, the output of the language processor will be left
      in a file named a.out in the current directory.  Since the results of
      a subsequent compilation may also be placed in a.out, thus overwriting
      the current output, you may want to use mv to give the output a unique
      name.  If the program is written in assembly language, you will
      probably need to link library subroutines with it (see ld(1)).
      FORTRAN, C, and Pascal call the linker automatically.

      When you have gone through this entire process without encountering
      any diagnostics, the resulting program can be run by giving its name
      to the shell in response to the prompt.

      Your programs can receive arguments from the command line just as
      system programs do by using the argc and argv parameters.	 See the
      supplied C tutorial for details.

    Text Processing
      Almost all text is entered through a text editor.	 The editor
      preferred above all others provided with HP-UX is the vi editor.	For
      batch-processing text files, the sed editor is very efficient.  Other
      editors are used much less frequently.  The ex editor is useful for
      handling certain situations while using vi but most other editors are
      rarely used except in various scripts.

      The following editors are the same program masquerading under various
      names: vi, view, and vedit (see vi(1)) and ex and edit (see ex(1)).
      For information about the sed stream editor, see sed(1).	The ed line
      editor is described in ed(1).

      The commands most often used to display text on a terminal are cat,
      more, and pr (see cat(1), more(1), and pr(1)).  The cat command simply
      copies ASCII text to the terminal, with no processing at all.  The
      more command displays text on the terminal a screenful at a time,
      pausing for an acknowledgement from the user before continuing.  The
      pr command paginates text, supplies headings, and has a facility for
      multicolumn output.  pr is most commonly used in conjunction with the
      lp command (see lp(1)) to pipe formatted text to a line printer.

    Interuser Communication
      Certain commands provide interuser communication.	 Even if you do not
      plan to use them, it could be beneficial to learn about them, because
      someone else may direct them toward you.	To communicate with another
      user that is currently logged in, you can use write to transfer text

 Hewlett-Packard Company	   - 10 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000

 introduction(9)					     introduction(9)

      directly to that user's terminal display (if permission to do so has
      been granted by the other user).	Otherwise, elm, mailx, or mail (in
      order of ease of use) can send a message to another user's mailbox.
      The user is then informed by HP-UX that mail has arrived (if currently
      logged in) or mail is present (when the user next logs in).  Refer to
      elm(1), mail(1), mailx(1), and write(1) for explanations of how these
      commands are used.

      UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other
      countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Limited.

      cat(1), cc_bundled(1), cd(1), chsh(1), cp(1), csh(1), ed(1), ex(1),
      ksh(1), ld(1), login(1), lp(1), ls(1), mail(1), mailx(1), man(1),
      mkdir(1), more(1), mv(1), passwd(1), pr(1), rm(1), rmdir(1), sed(1),
      sh(1), sh-bourne(1), sh-posix(1), stty(1), tabs(1), vi(1), write(1),
      a.out(4), profile(4), glossary(9).

      Web access to HP-UX documentation at http://docs.hp.com.

 Hewlett-Packard Company	   - 11 -   HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000