When it comes to Linux command, it is always a love and hate affair. Newbies tend to shun away from the command line as much as possible while the intermediate to expert users who are used to it will swear by it, and boost how much faster and more productive they have become due to the command line.
Regardless which camp you belong, as long as you are using Linux (doesn’t matter which distro), you are sure to hit the terminal and type some commands into it at some point of time. Why not embrace it and take the opportunity to learn something new?
Here are some websites, tools and tricks that you can make use of to learn Linux command line. This is in no way a comprehensive list, but will be a good start for those who wish to get started.
Note: The “command line” stated here can refer to the bash commands you type in the terminal, or writing your own bash scripts.
1. Linux Command.org
LinuxCommand.org is a site on… you guess it, Linux command. If you know absolutely nothing about the command line, this is a good starting ground. LinuxCommand is more like a school, where it teaches you from the basic, such as “what is a shell?” to simple command usage and lastly, advanced techniques like “how to write your own shell scripts“.
There are often cases when you want to get things done on the terminal, but can’t remember the exact code. When such cases occur, a good place to check out is CommandLineFu. Just think of a social network for command line and you get CommandLineFu. CommandlineFu is the place where people share the commonly used bash code so you just have to copy/paste the code to the terminal instead of writing your own. It is also a great way to discover the infinite possibilities that you can do on the terminal.
Similar to CommandlineFu, ShellFu is also a place where you can find plenty of codes, examples and uses of the command line. What makes it different is that ShellFu is more like a blog (rather than a social network), is moderated and there is no vote up/down feature.
4. O’Reilly Linux Command and SS64
O’Reilly Linux Command and SS64 bash are both a good place to go if you need just a quick reference of a particular command. All the commands are sorted in alphabetical order, so you can easily find the commands you want.
5. CLI Companion
CLI Companion is a replacement for your default terminal. It is divided into two panes. The upper pane is a library of the commonly used bash command and the lower pane is the actual terminal. You can scroll through the library to find the command you want, right click on it and select “Apply”. The command will get executed in the terminal below.
In Ubuntu, you can install via the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:clicompanion-devs/clicompanion-nightlies sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install clicompanion
6. Ebook – Bash Guide For Beginners
For beginners who like to learn bash command on the move, a good way is to download the free ebook – Bash Guide For Beginners and read it on your mobile devices. The ebook contains (almost) every single things you need to know about bash command. Even if you are experience with bash command, it never hurts to have a ebook by your side where you can refer from time to time.
Here are some tricks that you can use to increase your productivity.
7. Bash Autocompletion
One easy way to get around bash is to use the autocompletion feature. When you are halfway through typing a command, you just have to press the “Tab” button on your keyboard and it will autocomplete your command for you. If it can’t understand your command, it will show a list of options for you to choose.
8. Creating alias
If you frequently use the same command over and over again, it is a good idea to add an alias for that command. An alias is just a short for a (long) command. You can use aliases for a variety of reasons, such as shortening a long command or making the Linux shell act more like a Windows/Mac/Solaris/BSD/Whatever shell.
9. Mastering the bash history
The bash history contains the list of the commands that you have used before. To access your bash history, the simplest way is to use the Up/Down arrow key in the terminal. More bash history tricks can be found at the link below.
10. Using of bash prompt
Bash prompt is the result that appears when you enter a bash command. Most people are using the default system setting (gray color), not knowing that they can change the prompt settings and get it to display additional information and colors.
As I said above, this is by no means the most comprehensive list around and I am sure there are plenty of other useful websites, tools and tricks that I have left out. Do tell us about it in the comments.