Basic Bash Command For New Linux Users

One of the challenges that new Linux users face is the using of bash command on the terminal. Even though some Linux distro (such as Ubuntu Gutsy) has improved the user interface a great extent and reduced the need to execute applications via command line, there will still be cases where using the command line terminal is required.

As a Linux newbie, there are some commands that you may want to acquaint with.

  • apt-get – Retrieve a Debian package from the Net. It is often used together with install and autoremove. For example:

retrieve the vlc package and install it on your system.

will uninstall your vlc application and all dependencies package.

  • cd – change the current directory.

change the current directory to foldername

  • clear – clear the terminal screen.
  • chmod – change the permission of a file or folder.

allow everyone to read/write/execute yourfile

  • cp – copy a file/folder from one destination to another destination

copys yourfile from home to temp folder

  • mv – move a file/folder from one destination to another destination

move yourfile from home to temp folder

  • mount – mount an external device
  • chown – change the file owner and group

change the owner of /u to root

  • tar – Untar (or uncompress) or tar (or compress) a file with the .tar extension
  • dir – list the folders in the current directory.
  • eject – eject disc from optical device
  • grep – Search file(s) for lines that match a given pattern.

look for the statement with ‘hello world’ in the file menu.h

  • gzip – compress or uncompress a file in .gz format

To uncompress:

To compress:

  • fsck – check the consistency of file system and repair it
  • make – recompile a group of program, or source code
  • mkdir – create new directory/folder
  • passwd – modify a user password
  • wget – retrieve web pages or file via HTTP, HTTPS, FTP

retrieve yourfile.pdf from the web url

  • rm – remove a file from a folder.
  • rmdir – remove a folder
  • shutdown – shutdown or restart linux
  • useradd – add a user account

adds the user criminal to the group prison

  • usermod – modify a user account
  • users – list the current users

If there is anything that you are unsure of, you can always append --help to the end of the command to show usage instruction.

One comment

  1. This doesn’t really seem to be a bash tutorial, more like a command line tutorial. I’m pretty sure the same commands you’ve listed here would work in ksh, csh, etc.

    Now a bash tutorial that listed how to do if, loops, etc. I would find useful, but then again, hardly fare for a newbie.

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