In the following file, all references made to the name Unix, may also be substituted to the Xenix operating system.

Brief history: Back in the early sixties, during the development of third generation computers at MIT, a group of programmers studying the potential of computers, discovered their ability of performing two or more tasks simultaneously. Bell Labs, taking notice of this discovery, provided funds for their developmental scientists to investigate into this new frontier. After about 2 years of developmental research, they produced an operating system they called “Unix”.

Sixties to Current: During this time Bell Systems installed the Unix system to provide their computer operators with the ability to multitask so that they could become more productive, and efficient. One of the systems they put on the Unix system was called “Elmos”. Through Elmos many tasks (i.e. billing,and installation records) could be done by many people using the same mainframe.

Note: Cosmos is accessed through the Elmos system.

Current: Today, with the development of micro computers, such multitasking can be achieved by a scaled down version of Unix (but just as powerful). Microsoft,seeing this development, opted to develop their own Unix like system for the IBM line of PC/XT’s. Their result they called Xenix (pronounced zee-nicks). Both Unix and Xenix can be easily installed on IBM PC’s and offer the same functions (just 2 different vendors).

Note: Due to the many different versions of Unix (Berkley Unix, Bell System III, and System V the most popular) many commands following may/may not work. I have written them in System V routines. Unix/Xenix operating systems will be considered identical systems below.

How to tell if/if not you are on a Unix system: Unix systems are quite common systems across the country. Their security appears as such:

Login; (or login;)

When hacking on a Unix system it is best to use lowercase because the Unix system commands are all done in lower- case.

Login; is a 1-8 character field. It is usually the name (i.e. joe or fred) of the user, or initials (i.e. j.jones or f.wilson). Hints for login names can be found trashing the location of the dial-up (use your CN/A to find where the computer is).

Password: is a 1-8 character password assigned by the sysop or chosen by the user.

Common default logins

login; Password:

root root,system,etc..
sys sys,system
daemon daemon
uucp uucp
tty tty
test test
unix unix
bin bin
adm adm
who who
learn learn
uuhost uuhost
nuucp nuucp

If you guess a login name and you are not asked for a password, and have accessed to the system, then you have what is known as a non-gifted account. If you guess a correct login and pass- word, then you have a user account. And, if you guess the root password, then you have a “super-user” account. All Unix systems have the following installed to their system: root, sys, bin, daemon, uucp, adm

Once you are in the system, you will get a prompt. Common prompts are:




But can be just about anything the sysop or user wants it to be.

Things to do when you are in: Some of the commands that you may want to try follow below:

who is on (shows who is currently logged on the system.)
write name (name is the person you wish to chat with)
To exit chat mode try ctrl-D.
EOT=End of Transfer.
ls -a (list all files in current directory.)
du -a (checks amount of memory your files use;disk usage)
cd\name (name is the name of the sub-directory you choose)
cd\ (brings your home directory to current use)
cat name (name is a filename either a program or documentation your username has written)

Most Unix programs are written in the C language or Pascal since Unix is a programmers’ environment.

One of the first things done on the system is print up or capture (in a buffer) the file containing all user names and accounts. This can be done by doing the following command:


cat /etc/passwd


If you are successful you will a list of all accounts on the system. It should look like this:

root:hvnsdcf:0:0:root dir:/: joe:majdnfd:1:1:Joe Cool:/bin:/bin/joe hal::1:2:Hal Smith:/bin:/bin/hal

The “root” line tells the following info :

login name=root
hvnsdcf = encrypted password 0 = user group number 0 = user number
root dir = name of user
/ = root directory

In the Joe login, the last part “/bin/joe ” tells us which directory is his home directory (joe) is.

In the “hal” example the login name is followed by 2 colons, that means that there is no password needed to get in using his name.

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