What things should any self-professed UNIX expert have under their belt? I'm looking to fill any gaps in my knowledge.

Some things I can think of off the bat:

  • Shell (interactive and scripting)
  • Common utilities (grep, ls, etc.)
  • vi (possibly Emacs too)
  • Some mix of sed / awk / Perl (preferably all)
  • Knowledge of networking standards
  • Ability to set up common programs: A mail server, file server and so on

Probably forgetting a lot, obvious and not-so-obvious. What else?


2 Answers 2


As a UNIX expert, you should, at a minimum, be able to:

  • Build your system from source
  • Apply source patches to your system
  • Troubleshoot any problem you encounter
  • Understand what obscure knobs in your kernel do, and why you should probably not touch them
  • Administer your system
  • Protect your system
  • Maintain your system
  • Connect your system to other systems

From Development point of view :

  1. You should know how to use vim with cscope and ctags, this will help you to understand other peoples code faster. We learn alot from others code as well.
  2. Source control tools like CVS , svn etc.
  3. Debuggers e.g. gdb ,dbx

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