The characters * and ?

The character * is called a wildcard, and will match against none or more character(s) in a file (or directory) name. For example, in your unixstuff directory, type

compsci-user@tim:~$ls list* This will list all files in the current directory starting with list…. Try typing compsci-user@tim:~$ ls *list

This will list all files in the current directory ending with ….list

The character ? will match exactly one character. So ls ?ouse will match files like house and mouse, but not grouse. Try typing

Alternatively

compsci-user@tim:~$whatis wc gives a one-line description of the command, but omits any information about options etc. #### Apropos When you are not sure of the exact name of a command, compsci-user@tim:~$ apropos keyword

will give you the commands with keyword in their manual page header. For example, try typing

compsci-user@tim:~\$ apropos copy
Command Meaning
* match any number of characters
? match one character
man command read the online manual page for a command
whatis command brief description of a command
apropos keyword match commands with keyword in their man pages