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Linux Cheat Sheet for DevOps Engineers

This cheat sheet includes essential Linux commands and concepts commonly used in the DevOps workflow:

File System Navigation:

  • pwd: Print the current working directory.
  • ls: List files and directories in the current directory.
    • ls -l: List files and directories in long format.
    • ls -a: List all files and directories, including hidden ones.
  • cd: Change the current directory.
    • cd ~: Change to the home directory.
    • cd ..: Move up one directory level.
  • touch: Create an empty file.
  • mkdir: Create a new directory.
  • rm: Remove files or directories.
    • rm -r: Remove directories recursively.
  • mv: Move or rename files and directories.
  • cp: Copy files and directories.
  • find: Search for files and directories.
  • grep: Search for text within files.
  • cat: Display the contents of a file.
  • more or less: View file content page by page.
  • head and tail: Display the beginning or end of a file.
  • file: Determine file type.

File Permissions:

  • chmod: Change file permissions.
  • chown: Change file ownership.
  • chgrp: Change group ownership.
  • umask: Set default permissions for new files and directories.

Process Management:

  • ps: List running processes.
    • ps aux: List all processes.
  • top: Monitor system processes in real-time.
  • kill: Terminate processes.
  • killall: Terminate processes by name.
  • bg and fg: Manage background and foreground processes.
  • nohup: Run a command that continues running even after you log out.

Package Management (Debian/Ubuntu):

  • apt-get update: Update package lists.
  • apt-get upgrade: Upgrade installed packages.
  • apt-get install: Install new packages.
  • apt-get remove: Remove packages.
  • apt-cache search: Search for packages.
  • dpkg: Debian package management commands.

Package Management (Red Hat/CentOS):

  • yum update: Update packages.
  • yum install: Install packages.
  • yum remove: Remove packages.
  • yum search: Search for packages.
  • rpm: RPM package management commands.


  • ifconfig or ip: Display network interface information.
  • ping: Check network connectivity.
  • netstat: Network statistics.
  • ssh: Securely access remote systems.
  • scp: Securely copy files between systems.
  • curl or wget: Download files from the internet.
  • nc: Netcat for network-related tasks.
  • iptables or firewalld: Configure firewall rules.

System Information:

  • uname: Display system information.
  • df: Show disk space usage.
  • du: Show directory space usage.
  • free: Display memory usage.
  • top or htop: Monitor system resources.
  • lscpu or cat /proc/cpuinfo: CPU information.
  • lsblk or fdisk -l: List block devices.
  • date: Display the system date and time.

Shell Scripting:

  • Create and edit shell scripts using a text editor like nano, vim, or emacs.
  • Use #!/bin/bash (or another shell) as the shebang line.
  • Make the script executable with chmod +x
  • Execute the script with ./

Version Control:

  • git: Git commands for version control.
  • svn: Subversion commands for version control.

Containerization (Docker):

  • docker: Docker commands for container management.
  • docker-compose: Compose multiple containers.

Automation (cron):

  • crontab: Schedule recurring tasks.

Text Processing:

  • sed: Stream editor for text manipulation.
  • awk: Text processing tool.
  • cut: Extract sections from lines of files.

Monitoring and Logging:

  • Use tools like syslog, journalctl, and logrotate for system logs.
  • Use monitoring tools like Nagios, Zabbix, or Prometheus for system health.

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