When coming up to speed as a Linux user, it helps to have a cheat sheet that can help introduce you to some of the more useful commands.
In the tables below, you’ll find sets of commands with simple explanations and usage examples that might help you or Linux users you support become more productive on the command line.
Getting familiar with your account
These commands will help new Linux users become familiar with their Linux accounts.
|pwd||Displays your current location in the file system||pwd|
|whoami||Displays your username – most useful if you switch users with su and need to be reminded what account you’re using currently||whoami|
|ls||Provides a file listing. With -a, it also displays files with names starting with a period (e.g., .bashrc). With -l, it also displays file permissions, sizes and last updated date/time.||ls
|env||Displays your user environment settings (e.g., search path, history size, home directory, etc.)||env|
|echo||Repeats the text you provide or displays the value of some variable||echo hello
|history||Lists previously issued commands||history
history | tail -5
|passwd||Changes your password. Note that complexity requirements may be enforced.||passwd
history | tail -5
Linux provides several commands for looking at the content and nature of files. These are some of the most useful commands.
|cat||Displays the entire contents of a text file.||cat .bashrc|
|more||Displays the contents of a text file one screenful at a time. Hit the spacebar to move to each additional chunk.||more .bash_history|
|less||Displays the contents of a text file one screenful at a time, but in a manner that allows you to back up using the up arrow key.||less .bash_history|
|file||Identifies files by type (e.g., ASCII text, executable, image, directory)||file myfile
These are some Linux commands for changing file attributes as well as renaming, moving and removing files.
|chmod||Changes file permissions (who can read it, whether it can be executed, etc.)||chmod a+x myscript
chmod 755 myscript
|chown||Changes file owner||sudo chown jdoe myfile|
|cp||Makes a copy of a file.||cp origfile copyfile|
|mv||Moves or renames a file – or does both||mv oldname newn|
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