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Basic Linux commands


Here are some basic commands on Linux you should know.

With some of the commands below, you will see commands with simple explanations, specific examples to help you or the Linux users you are supporting using this operating system in general and the command line above. Linux in particular is more effective.

1. Some important notes about Linux Terminal

To open the Terminal prompt from the GUI, press Ctrl + Alt + T .

Split most Linux commands:

[sudo] command [optional switch] [file or directory path]

Using sudo will run any command under Admin. Most Linux commands used to install / remove system files are a program, used to request sudo.

2. Get familiar with the account

These commands will help Linux users get used to their Linux accounts.

OrderFunctionFor example
pwdDisplays the current location in the file system.pwd
whoamiDisplay usernames – most useful if users switch with su command and need to be reminded about which account is being usedwhoami
lsProvide a file list. With the -a parameter , the command displays the files whose name starts with a dot (eg .bashrc). With the -l parameter , the command displays the right, the file size and the latest update date / time.ls 
ls -a 
ls -l
ca.Show user environment settings (for example, search path, saved history size, home directory, etc.)ca.
echoRepeat the text that the user provides or display the value of some variables.echo hello
echo $PATH
historyList the commands given earlier.history
history | tail -5
passwdChange the password. Note that complex requirements can be enforced.passwd
history | tail -5

3. Create a new folder

mkdir is the basic directory manipulation command on Linux , which helps you create a new directory quickly. Syntax syntax:

mkdir folder


Folder is the name of the folder you want to create. For example, if you want to create a folder called backup, the syntax is:

mkdir /home/marin/backup

In case if you want to create a folder containing many subdirectories, you can use the “-p” option . Suppose, you have the foo folder and have access to it:

mkdir -p /foo/bar/baz

The above command will create a bar, baz folder located in the bar; bar and baz located in / foo already.

4. Search for the current directory

If you want to search your current directory, you can use the pwd command .


marin@[LinuxVeda]:[~/work]$ pwd

5. Create and edit files

Linux systems provide commands to create files. Users can select the desired text editor. Some commands require users to be proficient before using, while others are quite simple.

OrderFunctionFor example
nanoAn easy-to-use text editor, requires users to navigate through the file with the arrow keys and provide control sequences to locate text, save changes, etc.nano myfile
viA more sophisticated editor, allowing users to enter commands to find and change text, make overall changes, etc.micro myfile
exA text editor is designed for programmers and includes both visual and command line modes.ex myfile
touchCreate a file if it does not already exist or update the timestamp if it has been created.touch newfile
touch updatedfile
>Create files by directing the output to them. > create a file while >> binds an existing file.cal > calendar
ps > myprocs
date >> date.log

6. Read some files

Usually you have to consider the content of many different files. Regularly reviewing different files is often quite complicated and time-consuming. So the simplest way to read their contents is to use the cat command. Command syntax is quite simple:

cat FILE 

Just change FILE with the file name you want to read. As a result, you will see the contents of the file appear at the end of the Terminal.


cat script.sh

Alternatively, you can use the cat command for multiple files at once:

cat FILE-1 FILE-2

The output of the command will display the contents of the files in the order of the contents of FILE – 1 and the content of FILE -2.

In addition, Linux provides several commands to review the content and nature of files. Here are some of the most useful commands.

OrderFunctionFor example
catDisplay the entire contents of a text file.cat .bashrc
moreDisplay the content of the text file. Press the spacebar to move to each additional segment.more .bash_history
lessDisplays the contents of the text file, but allows you to return with the arrow keys upwards.less .bash_history
fileIdentify files by type (eg ASCII text, executable files, images, folders)file myfile
file ~/.bashrc
file /bin/echo

7. Copy or move the file

Copying or moving files in Linux terminal is quite simple and easy.

  • To copy a file, you can use the: cp command .
  • To move a file you use the command: mvoflder.

Both use commands are quite simple. With cp command . To copy a file, enter the file name and enter a new copy file name. For example:

cp file1 file2

On the above command copy file1 and create file2 containing file1 contents. You can use cp to copy the directory. It is important to note that when you want to copy a directory you should use the -r option .

In other words, cp -r will copy the contents of a certain directory (and subdirectories) to the directory of your choice. Alternatively you can use cp with the full path:

cp -r /home/marin/work/ /home/marin/backup

The above command will copy the content of the “work” folder to the new folder named “backup”.

If you want to copy all the files and folders of a folder to another folder, you can use the “*” character . Characters are used to find appropriate ports (in this case files and folders). For example:

cp /home/marin/work/* /home/marin/backup/

Next is the mv command Syntax syntax:

mv file1 file2

The above command changes first file1 to file2. The same goes for directories. However, if you specify a file and a folder, the file will be moved into the directory. Such as:

mv /home/marin/file1 /home/marin/work/

In the above command, move file1 from “/ home / marin /” to “/ home / marin / work /”. If you want to move all the files in one folder to another folder, you can use the “*” character :

mv /home/marin/work/* /home/marin/backup/

8. Delete files and folders

If you want to delete a folder or a file you can use the rm command . It is important to note that when using this command to delete a file or directory, these files cannot be restored. To delete a file you do:

rm /home/marin/useless-file.txt

You can use rm with many different options. Some important options like:

  • -f: force to delete files with reminder notifications
  • -i: prompt before deleting
  • -r: delete recursive directories
  • -d: delete empty directories
  • -v: explain what the mission is doing

9. Find the file

There are two commands that can help users find files on Linux, but they work very differently. A command searches the file system, while the other considers the database that was built earlier.

OrderFunctionFor example
findLocate files based on the criteria provided (name, type, owner, permissions, file size, etc.). Unless provided a location to start the search, otherwise this command will only search in the current directory.find . -name myfile
find /tmp -type d
locateLocate files using the contents of /var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db updated with the updateb command running through cron. No start position required.locate somefile
locate “*.html” -n 20

Note: The find command detailsare in the section below.

10. List directory contents

To list the directories, you can use the ls command :

The “ls” command can take different parameters to help you change the output of the statement. For example, the “-a” parameter will display all files and folders, including hidden folders containing “-a”.

If you want the command output to display a list of detailed information for each file and folder, you can use the “-l” (L) option :

ls -l You can try different 

In addition, you can combine parameters to display details of all files:

ls - al

11. Search for previous Linux commands

Clicking Up will display the final Linux command you successfully used. No error statements are displayed here.

Alternatively, you can use the history command to see all the Linux commands you have used on Terminal.

12. Invisible password

When asked to enter a password, suppose in the case of using sudo , when you type in the password on the screen nothing will be displayed, no star or dot … After you enter the password, you Press Enter to finish.

13. Copy and paste the Linux command

To copy or paste the Terminal command, you cannot use the familiar key combination Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V.

Instead you can use Ctrl + Shift + C and Ctrl + Shift + V or right-click and select Copy or Paste from the Context Menu.

14. Display progress in Linux system

One of the tasks needed to administer Linux systems is to control the currently running processes. Once you know which processes are running, you can turn off processes that slow down the system. In addition, information about system processes tells us to turn off but the process makes the system unstable. Therefore it is important to know which processes are running on the system. Linux supports a variety of process testing methods, one of which is using the ps command . When using this command all information about running processes will be displayed. You just need to enter the following command syntax into the terminal window:

# ps to | less

Figure 1: Process information running in the system.

In addition, this command can be used in combination with some other parameters such as:

# ps -A : Check every process in the system. 
# ps -U root -u root -N : Checks all processes except system processes. 
# ps -u username : Check the processes performed by a certain user.

Or you can use the # top command to see the processes running on the system in real time.

15. Check Socket information and TCP / UDP network information

After configuring the network services of the Linux system, you need to keep the tabs of the ports that are actually receiving the signal on the network interface of the system. This is very important because the system can be compromised through open ports. There are a number of Linux management tools that tell you information about open ports and access open ports on the network. One of the simplest and most reliable methods is to use the ss command to check the Socket information, in addition to displaying more TCP information and status information than other tools. This ss command provides information about:

  • All TCP Socket.
  • All UDP Socket.
  • All connections ssh / ftp / http / https.
  • All local processes are connected to the X server.
  • All TCP Socket in FIN-WAIT-1 state.

Here are some ss commands :

  • # ss –s : Displays the total number of Socket.

Figure 2: Output information when running # ss –s command.

  • # ss -1 : Shows all open ports.

Figure 3: Output information when running # ss -1.

  • # ss –pl : Check the open socket process name using the following command:
  • # ss -lp | grep : Check that the user is working with the Socket open.
  • # ss -t –a : Displaying all TCP Socket.
  • # ss -u -a : Displays all UDP Socket.

16. Track Average CPU Load and Disk Activity

If you are a Linux system administrator, you need to know how to maintain a reasonable balance in the process of loading input and output between physical drives. You can change the system configuration to perform this task. However, a much simpler method is to use the isostat command to manage the input and output loading system in Linux by monitoring the uptime and average transfer rates of devices. this. This command will inform CPU information (Central Processing Unit), input and output information for devices, partitions and network file system (NFS).

When running the isostat command the output information is of the form:

Figure 4: Information displayed when running the isostat command.

To get NFS directory information, use the following command:

# iostat –n

17. Check the Memory Map of processes in Linux

When working in a Linux system you may need to check the amount of memory used in the system. Linux integrates many commands to check the amount of memory occupied. There is a simple command that displays the total information of the occupied and unused space of the physical memory and the total memory capacity is the free command .

After running this command, you will see the total occupied and unused space of the physical memory and the total amount of memory in the system. In addition, it displays caching information that individuals use.

Figure 5: Information displayed after running the free command

18. Check the operating time of the system

Do you want to know how long the server has been running? If you want, you just need to use the uptime command to check the time that the system is running. This simple command not only tells you how long the system is running but also indicates how many users have logged into the system in the previous period.

Figure 6: Uptime command result.

19. Check user login

In addition to Linux management tools, you can use a command to check which users have logged into the system and what they have done. This command will show the current time, the time the system has run, the number of users logged in. 

This command also displays the average load in every 1, 5 and 15 minutes. This command is useful for system administrators who want to use average load information to plan capacity. 

To check who logged in to the system and what tasks they have performed, just run the following command:

# w username

Figure 7: Information displayed after running the # w username command.

20. Control system behavior, hardware and system information in Linux

For many Linux users, system control is a complex task. Most Linux distributions integrate a lot of control tools. These control tools provide methods that can be applied to check system behavior information. Controlling the system allows users to monitor the cause of the system’s performance being hindered. One of the essential tasks of the system control process is to look up information about system behavior, hardware and memory information. There is a simple command that displays information about the progress, memory, record page, IO group, error and CPU behavior that is the vmstat command .

You only need to enter the following command in the terminal window:

# vmstat 3

Figure 8: Output information of # vmstat 3 command.

Alternatively, you can use the # vmstat -m command to check memory information, and the # vmstat -a command to display the active and inactive memory page information.

Figure 9: Information displayed after running # vmstat -a.

21. Check hardware information of Linux system

For some Linux users, checking hardware information is not easy. Linux is a complex system, but it includes a number of tools to get detailed information about the hardware, for example we can use a fairly simple command to check the hard disk information on that system. is the hdparm command. This command provides a command-line interface for managing multiple types of hard disks supported by the ATA / IDE device driver subsystem. It provides a command to display verification information such as capacity, details, etc. directly from the drive. This information is saved in a new extension format. You only need to log in as root user and use the following command:

# hdparm -I /dev/sda

Or use the command:

$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

Then the system hard disk information will immediately display. 

Figure 10: Details of the hard disk.

22. The commands to process files on Linux

The command to navigate around the Linux file system is ls, but there are many variations.

Linux commandThe command task will do
lsList current directory contents
ls -alList directory contents including hidden files
cd dirMove from the current directory to the dir directory
cdSwitch from the current directory to the private directory (usually [User Name] at Home)
cd ..Move up (to /) a folder from the current location.
cd <location>Take the user to the specified location. If the position starts with /, it is considered relative to the root and current location. ~ Character represents the Home directory. For example:cd /tmp
cd Documents
cd ~/Documents
pwdShow current directory
mkdir fulltipCreate a new folder named fulltip
rm file to deleteDelete the file named file to delete
rm -r folder you want to deleteDelete the folder named folder you want to delete
rm -f file to delete Start deleting the file named file to delete
rm -rf folder you want to delete Getting deleted folder named folder you want to delete
cp file1 file2Copy file1 to file2
cp -r dir1 dir2Copy directory dir1 to dir2 and create dir2 if not yet dir2
mv file1 file2Move file1 to file2 or rename file1 to file2. If file2 is available, move file1 to file2
ln -s name file linkCreate symbol link named link to file named name file
touch file to createCreate or update file to create file
cat > file nameEnter from the keyboard (standard input – standard input) into a new file name file
more file nameShow file contents named file name
head file nameShow the first 10 lines of the file name file
tail file nameShow the last 10 lines of the file name file
tail -f file nameShow content of file name file and update continuously in real time
tail -f -n N file nameShow content of file name file and update continuously, limit N lines

23. Network commands on Linux

has a pretty detailed tutorial about the commands that work with the network on Linux , you are interested to consult.

24. Start, stop and list services

These commands allow users to display services as well as start and stop them.

OrderFunctionFor example
systemctlSystemctl command can start, stop, restart and reload the service, admin permission is required.sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service
sudo systemctl reload apache2.service
serviceList the services and indicate whether they are running.service –status-all

25. Determine the operating system version

The table below lists the commands that will show details about the Linux operating system running on the system.

OrderFunctionFor example
unameDisplays information about the operating system version in a text line.uname -a
uname -r
lsb_releaseOn Debian-based systems, this command displays information about the operating system including codename and distributor ID.lsb_release -a
hostnamectlDisplays information on the system including server name, chassis type (operating system), operating system, kernel and structure.hostnamectl

26. Measure system performance

The following are some useful tools for checking system performance.

OrderFunctionFor example
topDisplays running processes along with resource usage and system performance data. Processes can be displayed for a selected user or all users. Processes can be organized according to different criteria (by default, CPU usage).top
top jdoe
atopSimilar to the above command, but more to system performance than individual processes.atop
freeDisplay memory and exchange total memory, used and free space.free
dfDisplays the use of system disk space of the file.df
df -h

27. Manage users and groups

Commands to create and delete user accounts and groups are quite simple.

OrderFunctionFor example
useraddAdd new user account to the system. Username is required.Other fields (user descriptions, shells, initial passwords, etc.) may be specified. The main directory will default to / home / username.useradd -c “John Doe” jdoe
useradd -c “Jane Doe” -g admin -s /bin/bash jbdoe
userdelDelete user accounts from the system. The -f option is stronger, deleting main files and other user files even if the user is still logged in.userdel jbdoe
userdel -f jbdoe
groupaddAdd a new group of users to the system, update / etc / group .groupadd developers
groupdelDelete user groups from the system.groupdel developers

28. Set up and run scheduled processes

Tasks can be scheduled to run periodically using the commands listed below.

OrderFunctionFor example
crontabSet up and manage scheduled processes. With the -l option ,recurring jobs are listed. With -e option , recurring jobs can be set to run at selected time intervals.crontab -l
crontab -l -u username
crontab -e
anacronAllow users to only run tasks scheduled daily. If the system is turned off when a job is scheduled to run, it will run when the system starts.sudo vi / etc / anacrontab

29. Update, install and list applications

The commands to install and update applications depend on the version of Linux in use, specifically based on Debian or RPM.

OrderFunctionFor example
apt updateOn Debian-based systems, this command updates the list of available packages and their versions, but does not install or upgrade any packages.sudo apt update
apt upgradeOn Debian-based systems, this command installs newer versions of existing packages.sudo apt upgrade
apt listList all packages installed on Debian-based systems. With the –upgradable option , it only displays packages with an upgrade.apt list
apt list –installed
apt list –upgradable
apt installOn Debian-based systems, this command installs the required package.sudo apt install apache2
yum updateOn RPM-based systems, this command updates all or specified packages.sudo yum update
yum update mysql
yum listOn RPM-based systems, this command lists the packages.sudo yum update mysql
yum installOn RPM-based systems, this command installs the required package.sudo yum -y install firefox
yum listOn RPM-based systems, this command lists known and installed packages.sudo yum list
sudo yum list –installed

30. Turn off and restart

The commands to shut down and restart the Linux system require admin rights. Options like +15 are the number of minutes that the command will wait before the shutdown request is made.

OrderFunctionFor example
shutdownTurn off the system at the time of the request. -H optionpauses the system, and the -P option will turn off the power.sudo shutdown -H now
shutdown -H +15
shutdown -P +5
stopTurn off the system at the time of the request.sudo halt 
sudo halt -p 
sudo halt –reboot
poweroffDisconnect power from the system at the time of request.sudo shutdown -H now
sudo shutdown -H +15
sudo shutdown -P +5

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