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linux : basic commands

zakiarsyad profile image Zaki Arrozi Arsyad Updated on ・3 min read

Linux is closely related to the command line. Even though some people prefer to use graphic user interface (GUI), we will using command-line interface (CLI). CLI is more effective and powerful. Some process can be done in one line of commands in seconds.

These some basic commands that I use often.

1. Navigation

  • pwd : print working directory
  • cd : change directory
    • cd : go to home
    • cd {dir_path} : go to directory path
    • cd .. : on directory above
    • cd - : back to last directory path
  • ls : list
    • ls -a : list all (include hidden file and folder)
    • ls -l : long list
    • ls -la : long list all

2. Directory / file management

  • touch : create a new file
  • mkdir : create a new folder
  • rm : remove
    • rm {file_name} : delete a file
    • rm -r {dir_name} : delete a folder
  • rmdir : remove directory, only allows to delete empty directory
  • cp : copy
    • cp {old_file} {new_file} : copy a file
    • cp -r {old_dir} {new_dir} : copy a folder and all sub folder
  • mv : move
    • mv {old_file_path} {new_file_path} : move a file or folder
    • mv {old_file_name} {new_file_name} : rename a file or folder
  • locate {file_name} : search a file or folder
    • locate -i {file_name} : search file with case sensitive
  • find {dir_path} {file_name} : search a file or folder inside a directory
  • tar : archive multiple files into a tarball
  • zip : compress files into a zip archive
  • unzip : extract the zipped files

3. File view and editing

  • nano : view and edit with nano
  • vim : view and edit with vim
  • cat : view file
    • cat > {file_name} : create a new file
    • cat {file_1} > {file_2} : copy file 1to file 2
    • cat {file_1} >> {file_2} : append file 1 content to file 2
  • grep {keyword} {file_name} : search through all the text in a given file
  • head : view the first lines of any text file, by default it will showing first 10 lines
    • head -n 5 {file_name} : display first 5 lines of the file
  • tail : view the last lines of any text file, by default it will showing - first 10 lines
    • tail -n 5 {file_name} : display last 5 lines of the file

4. Manual guide

  • man : manual
    • man cp : display full guide for copy command
  • --help : help
    • cp --help : display short guide for copy command

5. System commands

  • sudo : SuperUser Do, enables to perform tasks that require administrative or root permissions
  • command1; command2; command3 : run multiple commands
  • command1 && command2 && command3 : run the next commands after the first one is successful
  • useradd {username} : add a new user
    • passwd {password} : set the password
  • userdel : delete a user
  • chmod {options} {file_name} : change the read, write, and execute permissions of files and directories
    • chmod u=rwx,g=rx,o=r {file_name}
    • u : user
    • g : group
    • o : other
    • r : read
    • w : write
    • x : execute
  • chown {username} {file_name} : change or transfer the ownership of a file
  • uname : print detailed information about your Linux system
  • hostname : display the name of host/network
    • hostname -i : display the IP address of the network
  • wget {link} : download from the internet
  • ps : display information about the currently running processes, including their process identification numbers (PIDs)
  • kill {pid} : terminate an unresponsive program
  • df : get a report on the system’s disk space usage
    • df -h : display disk space statistics
    • df -m : display disk space statistics in megabytes
  • du -h : display disk usage
  • free -m : show free memory
  • cat /proc/cpuinfo : display cpu info
  • htop / top : monitor system resources
  • history : review the commands we’ve entered before
  • clear : clean out the terminal

6. Keyboard shourcut

  • ctrl + C : safe kill
  • ctrl + Z : sometimes there are child processes that still running in the background
  • ctrl + A : moves to the beginning of the line
  • ctrl + E : moves to the end of the line

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