Back in the olden days of vfx, a lot of the studios used SGI stations and the majority of the artists had to learn unix in order to get around their shell. Nowdays, the majority of the studios have moved over to PC's and now run linux. ( a Unix-like computer operating system that uses the Linux kernel.)
A command is when you tell the computer to do something you want it to do. You can use commands to work with files - like copy, move or print. You can use commands for executing programs and you can use them to communicate with other users.
Pipes and Redirections are used when you want to use an input or output of one command or file into another command or file. Wildcards are characters that represent one, or a set, of other characters, and are meant to save time in typing those out.
Each file and directory in the Unix environment has permissions and ownership. When you were given a username you were also put in a Group name. Once you create a file in Unix/Linux, that file will have the markings of your ownership and will show that you belong in a certain group.
Most artists who use the Unix/Linux environment use IRIX. Under the X-windows (the graphic desktop) most prefer to use "jot" as their text editor. However, there are times when you need to use a text-only text editor with no graphics at all.
Sometimes you will come across compressed files you need to uncompress, or have the need to compress a bunch of files to send through email or what not. There are several formats you can use - Compress/Uncompress, Pack/unpack, Zip/Unzip. Also, I will jot down a few commands artists might find useful.