List of Linux Terminal Commands

When you run a Linux distribution, and you are only using the GUI, you are missing out. The Linux terminal is an extremely powerful tool that goes well beyond the GUI. Writing commands might seem scary for a beginner, but you will soon get the hang of it. In this guide, you will find the most important Linux commands, to use the terminal like a pro.

I hope this introduction helps you get to grips with the basics so you can continue learning more
System Info
– Show the current date and time 
cal –
Show this month’s calendar 
– Show current uptime 
– Display who is online 
– Who you are logged in as 
finger user 
– Display information about user 
uname -a 
– Show kernel information 
cat /proc/cpuinfo 
– CPU information 
cat /proc/meminfo
 – Memory information 
– Show disk usage 
– Show directory space usage 
– Show memory and swap usage
Keyboard Shortcuts
– Run the command 
Up Arrow 
– Show the previous command 
Ctrl + R 
– Allows you to type a part of the command you’re looking for and finds it
Ctrl + Z 
– Stops the current command, resume with fg in the foreground or bg in the background 
Ctrl + C 
– Halts the current command, cancel the current operation and/or start with a fresh new line 
Ctrl + L 
– Clear the screen
command | less 
– Allows the scrolling of the bash command window using Shift + Up Arrow and Shift + Down Arrow 
– Repeats the last command 
command !$ 
– Repeats the last argument of the previous command 
Esc + . (a period) 
– Insert the last argument of the previous command on the fly, which enables you to edit it before executing the command
Ctrl + A 
– Return to the start of the command you’re typing 
Ctrl + E 
– Go to the end of the command you’re typing 
Ctrl + U 
– Cut everything before the cursor to a special clipboard, erases the whole line 
Ctrl + K 
– Cut everything after the cursor to a special clipboard 
Ctrl + Y 
– Paste from the special clipboard that Ctrl + U and Ctrl + K save their data to 
Ctrl + T 
– Swap the two characters before the cursor (you can actually use this to transport a character from the left to the right, try it!) 
Ctrl + W 
– Delete the word / argument left of the cursor in the current line
Ctrl + D 
– Log out of current session, similar to exit
Learn the Commands
apropos subject 
– List manual pages for subject 
man -k keyword 
– Display man pages containing keyword 
man command 
– Show the manual for command 
man -t man | ps2pdf – > man.pdf 
– Make a pdf of a manual page 
which command 
– Show full path name of command 
time command 
– See how long a command takes
whereis app 
– Show possible locations of app 
which app 
– Show which app will be run by default; it shows the full path
grep pattern files 
– Search for pattern in files 
grep -r pattern dir 
– Search recursively for pattern in dir 
command | grep pattern 
– Search for pattern in the output of command 
locate file 
– Find all instances of file 
find / -name filename 
– Starting with the root directory, look for the file called filename 
find / -name ”*filename*” 
– Starting with the root directory, look for the file containing the stringfilename 
locate filename 
– Find a file called filename using the locate command; this assumes you have already used the command updatedb (see next) 
– Create or update the database of files on all file systems attached to the Linux root directory 
which filename 
– Show the subdirectory containing the executable file  called filename 
grep TextStringToFind /dir 
– Starting with the directory called dir, look for and list all files containingTextStringToFind
File Permissions
chmod octal file 
– Change the permissions of file to octal, which can be found separately for user, group, and world by adding: 4 – read (r), 2 – write (w), 1 – execute (x) 
chmod 777 – read, write, execute for all 
chmod 755 – rwx for owner, rx for group and world 
For more options, see man chmod.
File Commands
 – Directory listing 
ls -l 
– List files in current directory using long format 
ls -laC 
– List all files in current directory in long format and display in columns 
ls -F 
– List files in current directory and indicate the file type 
ls -al 
– Formatted listing with hidden files
cd dir 
– Change directory to dir 
– Change to home 
mkdir dir 
– Create a directory dir 
– Show current directory
rm name 
– Remove a file or directory called name 
rm -r dir 
– Delete directory dir 
rm -f file 
– Force remove file 
rm -rf dir 
– Force remove an entire directory dir and all it’s included files and subdirectories (use with extreme caution)
cp file1 file2 
– Copy file1 to file2 
cp -r dir1 dir2 
– Copy dir1 to dir2; create dir2 if it doesn’t exist 
cp file /home/dirname 
– Copy the file called filename to the /home/dirname directory
mv file /home/dirname 
– Move the file called filename to the /home/dirname directory 
mv file1 file2 
– Rename or move file1 to file2; if file2 is an existing directory, moves file1 into directoryfile2
ln -s file link 
– Create symbolic link link to file 
touch file 
– Create or update file 
cat > file 
– Places standard input into file 
cat file 
– Display the file called file
more file 
– Display the file called file one page at a time, proceed to next page using the spacebar 
head file 
– Output the first 10 lines of file 
head -20 file 
– Display the first 20 lines of the file called file 
tail file 
– Output the last 10 lines of file 
tail -20 file 
– Display the last 20 lines of the file called file 
tail -f file 
– Output the contents of file as it grows, starting with the last 10 lines
tar cf file.tar files 
– Create a tar named file.tar containing files 
tar xf file.tar 
– Extract the files from file.tar
tar czf file.tar.gz files 
– Create a tar with Gzip compression 
tar xzf file.tar.gz 
– Extract a tar using Gzip
tar cjf file.tar.bz2 
– Create a tar with Bzip2 compression 
tar xjf file.tar.bz2 
– Extract a tar using Bzip2
gzip file 
– Compresses file and renames it to file.gz 
gzip -d file.gz 
– Decompresses file.gz back to file
/etc/rc.d/init.d/lpd start 
– Start the print daemon 
/etc/rc.d/init.d/lpd stop 
– Stop the print daemon 
/etc/rc.d/init.d/lpd status
 – Display status of the print daemon 
– Display jobs in print queue 
– Remove jobs from queue 
 – Print a file 
– Printer control tool 
man subject | lpr 
– Print the manual page called subject as plain text 
man -t subject | lpr 
– Print the manual page called subject as Postscript output 
– Start X printer setup interface
– List IP addresses for all devices on the local machine 
ping host
 – Ping host and output results 
whois domain 
– Get whois information for domain 
dig domain 
– Get DNS information for domain 
dig -x host 
– Reverse lookup host 
wget file 
– Download file 
wget -c file 
– Continue a stopped download
ssh user@host 
– Connect to host as user 
ssh -p port user@host 
– Connect to host on port port as user 
ssh-copy-id user@host 
– Add your key to host for user to enable a keyed or passwordless login
User Administration
adduser accountname 
– Create a new user call accountname 
passwd accountname 
– Give accountname a new password 
– Log in as superuser from current login 
– Stop being superuser and revert to normal user
Process Management
– Display your currently active processes 
– Display all running processes 
kill pid 
– Kill process id pid 
killall proc 
– Kill all processes named proc (use with extreme caution) 
– Lists stopped or background jobs; resume a stopped job in the background 
– Brings the most recent job to foreground 
fg n 
– Brings job n to the foreground
Installation from source
make install 
dpkg -i pkg.deb 
– install a DEB package (Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint) 
rpm -Uvh pkg.rpm 
– install a RPM package (Red Hat / Fedora)
Stopping & Starting
shutdown -h now 
– Shutdown the system now and do not reboot 
– Stop all processes – same as above 
shutdown -r 5 
– Shutdown the system in 5 minutes and reboot 
shutdown -r now 
– Shutdown the system now and reboot 
– Stop all processes and then reboot – same as above 
– Start the X system

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2 thoughts on “List of Linux Terminal Commands

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