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Mon 17 Jun 2024
09:30 - 17:30

Venue: Bioinformatics Training Facility - The Pembroke Teaching Rooms

Provided by: Bioinformatics


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Introduction to working with UNIX and bash (IN-PERSON)

Mon 17 Jun 2024


The Unix shell (command line) is a powerful and essential tool for modern researchers, in particular those working in computational disciplines such as bioinformatics and large-scale data analysis. In this course we will explore the basic structure of the Unix operating system and how we can interact with it using a basic set of commands. You will learn how to navigate the filesystem, manipulate text-based data and combine multiple commands to quickly extract information from large data files. You will also learn how to write scripts, use programmatic techniques to automate task repetition.

If you do not have a University of Cambridge Raven account please book or register your interest here.

Additional information
  • ♿ The training room is located on the first floor and there is currently no wheelchair or level access.
  • Our courses are only free for registered University of Cambridge students. All other participants will be charged according to our charging policy.
  • Attendance will be taken on all courses and a charge is applied for non-attendance, including for University of Cambridge students. After you have booked a place, if you are unable to attend any of the live sessions, please email the Bioinfo Team.
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here.
  • Guidance on visiting Cambridge and finding accommodation is available here.
Target audience
  • Graduate students, Postdocs and Staff members from the University of Cambridge, Affiliated Institutions and other external Institutions or individuals

No previous experience required


Number of sessions: 1

# Date Time Venue Trainers
1 Mon 17 Jun   09:30 - 17:30 09:30 - 17:30 Bioinformatics Training Facility - The Pembroke Teaching Rooms map Vincent Hanlon,  Ilina Moitra,  Anh Phuong Le
Topics covered

UNIX, Linux, Bash, Data handling


During this course you will learn about:

  • Navigating the filesystem using a terminal (text-based interface).
  • Using bash as a tool for data manipulation and automation.
  • Best practices for managing and maintaining scripts written in bash.

After this course you should be able to:

  • Recognise the uses of the command line for computational work.
  • Become comfortable in using the command line, understanding how commands are structured and how to access their documentation.
  • Navigate the filesystem from the command line and understand how to specify the location of files and directories.
  • Perform basic file manipulations in Bash: combine multiple files together; count number of lines, words and characters in a file; extract text matching a pattern; counting unique values in a file.
  • Combine multiple commands to solve more complex tasks.
  • Write Bash scripts to record and make your analysis reproducible.
  • Understand what a for loop is an how it can be used to automate repetitive tasks.
System requirements

Participants must have their own computers to work on.

Registration fees
  • Free for registered University of Cambridge students
  • £ 60/day for all University of Cambridge staff, including postdocs, temporary visitors (students and researchers) and participants from Affiliated Institutions. Please note that these charges are recovered by us at the Institutional level
  • It remains the participant's responsibility to acquire prior approval from the relevant group leader, line manager or budget holder to attend the course. It is requested that people booking only do so with the agreement of the relevant party as costs will be charged back to your Lab Head or Group Supervisor.
  • £ 60/day for all other academic participants from external Institutions and charitable organizations. These charges must be paid at registration
  • £ 120/day for all Industry participants. These charges must be paid at registration
  • Further details regarding the charging policy are available here


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