Basic Linux Commands: Quick Reference Guide
What are Basic Linux Commands?
Basic Linux commands are command-line utilities that manage files and directories in the Linux environment. These commands are executed in the Terminal or Command Line Interface (CLI). They can perform various tasks, including creating, copying, moving, and deleting files, managing user accounts, and monitoring system performance. Basic Linux commands are similar to those used in other operating systems, such as Windows and macOS, but they are often more powerful and flexible.
This article will show you the basics of Linux commands:
|ls||List directory contents.|
|cat||Display file’s contents to the standard output device|
(usually your monitor)
|cd||Change to directory.|
|df||Display used and available disk space.|
|du||Show how much space each file takes up.|
|file||Determine what type of data is within a file.|
|kill||Stop a process. If the process refuses to stop, use kill -9 pid.|
|lpr||Send a print job.|
|man||Display the help information for the specified command.|
|mv||Rename or move file(s) or directories.|
|ps||Display a snapshot of the currently running processes.|
|pwd||Display the pathname for the current directory.|
|rm||Remove (delete) file(s) and/or directories.|
|rmdir||Delete empty directories.|
|ssh||Remotely log in to another Linux machine, over the network.|
Leave an ssh session by typing exit.
|su||Switch to another user account.|
|tail||Display the last n lines of a file (the default is|
|tar||Store and extract files from a tarfile (.tar) or tarball (.tar.gz or .tgz).|
|top||Displays the resources being used on your system. Press q to|
|who||Display who is logged on.|
|clear||Clear a command line screen/window for a fresh start.|
|date||Display or set the system date and time.|
|cp||Copy files and directories.|
|grep||Search files or output for a particular pattern.|
Create a shortcut.
Compared to Other Systems
Compared to other operating systems, Linux offers a greater level of control and flexibility through the use of command-line utilities. Basic Linux commands are designed to allow system administrators and developers to manage and manipulate files and directories quickly and efficiently. While other operating systems also offer command-line utilities, Linux commands are often more powerful and flexible, allowing for more complex operations.
Use Cases of Basic Linux
Basic Linux commands can be used for a variety of tasks, including:
- File Management: Basic Linux commands can create, copy, move, and delete files and directories. These commands can also be used to change file permissions and ownership.
- User Management: Basic Linux commands can create and manage user accounts on a Linux system. These commands can be used to add, modify, and delete user accounts and to change user passwords.
- System Monitoring: Basic Linux commands can be used to monitor system performance and troubleshoot issues that may arise. These commands can be used to check system resources, monitor logs, and view system processes.
Features of Basic Linux
Basic Linux commands have several features that make them an attractive option for managing and manipulating files and directories in the Linux environment, including:
- Flexibility: Basic Linux commands are designed to be flexible and powerful, allowing for a wide range of operations.
- Speed: Basic Linux commands are often faster than their graphical counterparts, allowing for more efficient management of files and directories.
- Automation: Scripts can automate basic Linux commands, enabling repetitive tasks to be performed automatically.
Advantages of Basic Linux
Basic Linux commands offer several advantages over other methods of managing and manipulating files and directories, including:
- Flexibility: Basic Linux commands can be used to perform various tasks.
- Efficiency: Basic Linux commands are often faster than their graphical counterparts, allowing for more efficient management of files and directories.
- Automation: Scripts can automate basic Linux commands and perform repetitive tasks automatically.
Disadvantages of Basic Linux
Basic Linux commands also have some disadvantages, including:
- Steep Learning Curve: Learning basic Linux commands can be quite challenging for individuals who are not accustomed to command-line utilities.
- Lack of Graphical Interface: Basic Linux commands need a graphical interface, making them challenging for some users.
- Complexity: Some basic Linux commands can be complex and require a good understanding of the Linux environment to use effectively.
Alternative Options for Basic Linux Commands
If basic Linux commands do not meet a particular environment’s needs, alternative options can be used. Some alternative options include:
- Graphical File Managers: Graphical file managers like Nautilus or Dolphin provide a more user-friendly interface for managing files and directories.
- Web-Based Tools: Many web-based tools are available for managing files and directories, such as FileZilla or OwnCloud, that can be accessed through a web browser.
- Third-Party Command-Line Tools: Many third-party command-line tools are available that can provide additional functionality beyond basic Linux commands. Some popular third-party tools include awk, sed, and grep.
Conclusion Basic Linux commands are essential for managing and manipulating files and directories in the Linux environment. While they may have a steep learning curve, they offer control and flexibility unmatched by graphical file managers or other tools. Basic Linux commands are also more efficient and can be automated using scripts. However, they have disadvantages, including their complexity and lack of a graphical interface. If basic Linux commands do not meet a particular environment’s needs, alternative options can be used to manage files and directories.
Our goal in writing this article is to give you an overview of basic linux commands and we hope this article has given you a better understanding.
Once a file is deleted using the “rm” command, it cannot be recovered. To avoid accidental deletion, it is recommended to double-check the command before executing it or using the “-i” option to prompt confirmation before deleting a file.
Basic Linux commands are designed specifically for the Linux environment and may not work on other operating systems. However, some Linux commands have been ported to other operating systems, such as macOS and Windows, through software like Cygwin or WSL.
You can navigate to a specific directory by specifying the path to the directory after the “cd” command. For example, “cd /home/user/documents” will navigate to the “documents” directory inside the “user” directory, which is inside the “home” directory.
By default, the “ls” command does not display hidden files. To see hidden files, use the “-a” option, such as “ls -a”.
Yes, basic Linux commands can be used to manage remote servers through tools like SSH (Secure Shell). Using SSH, you can securely connect to a remote server and execute commands as if you were using a terminal directly on the server.