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Basic Linux Commands Cheat Sheet With Examples [Updated]
Basic Linux Commands Cheat Sheet With Examples [Updated]
Check out these basic Linux commands cheat sheet with examples to perform or increase your
speed/productivity while executing any Linux task/program.
Server Tutorials - Aug 30, 21 - by Susith Nonis - 14 min Read
List of content you will read in this article:
1. Basic Linux Commands Cheat Sheet
2. Conclusion
Linux is an Operating System that is widely used by developers for making all kinds of applications. In order to
accomplish these applications, it is necessary to have a good understanding of basic Linux commands with
examples that will be used in hundreds of tasks. The below section introduces a few basic Linux commands cheat
sheet that will be helpful for every person using Linux.
Basic Linux Commands Cheat Sheet
PWD Command [Print Working Directory]
In Linux, “Print Working Directory” is abbreviated as pwd.
PWD command prints the path to the current working directory, beginning at the root.
The root node is the initial node in the Linux directory hierarchy.
pwd is either a shell command (pwd) or a binary (/bin/pwd).
$PWD is an environment variable that stores the path to the current directory. This
variable can be printed using the echo command.
There are two flags for this command.
pwd -L is a command that prints the symbolic path.
pwd -P: Prints the actual path. Let’s see an illustration for the command.
PS Command
This is an important terminal command in Linux that will allow you to check what
processes are currently executing on your system. Processes are just running instances
of the operating system's applications.
It's a simple yet powerful method for evaluating system resources, and it allows you to
control system operations directly from the terminal. This command also prints the
process's PID, which can be used to terminate the process.
This is one of the simplest and most efficient Linux monitoring tools available to Linux
Locate Command
You may use the locate command to hunt for a file by name.
It functions similarly to the search command, except that it operates in the background.
The locate command analyses the database, whereas the find command explores the
file system.
The locate command can be used from any location inside the operating system.
It's more efficient than using the search command.
If you wish to use the locate command to find the file, keep your database up to date.
Head Command
In order to view the beginning of a file, use the head command.
Among Linux users who do a lot of text processing, this is one of the most common
Linux commands available.
When working with a large number of files at the terminal, use this command to avoid
It publishes the top 10 lines of the files by default. It's possible to print a certain number
of lines by using the -n option. Check out an example of this command in action!
Tail Command
The tail command, as a complement to the prior command, is likely to be used far more
frequently than the header commands.
tail, along with cat and echo, is a simple Linux terminal command that can accomplish
things you wouldn't expect. Let’s see an example of using these commands.
Less Command
The less command is also frequently used for analysing the contents of a file due to its
ease of use. Users can navigate a file in both directions by using less rather than cat
commands, and the terminal session is not interrupted.
Kill Command
Kill Command is a powerful tool for terminating programmes that have been stuck due
to a shortage of resources.
The importance of this command will become clear as your understanding of the Linux
operating system increases.
The kill command, which appears regularly on lists of funny Linux commands, is as
strong as its name implies.
The command's syntax is as follows:
kill PID
Where PID is the ID of the process we need to kill.
Let’s see an example of this command.
Sort Command
To sort a file, sort is used to arrange a certain order for the records. This command sorts
files by default, assuming that the contents is ASCII. It may also be used to sort
numerically using parameters in the sort command.
CMP Command
The cmp command will allow you to compare two files and publish the results to the
standard output stream. This, along with the comm command, is one of the best Linux
commands by users who regularly process huge amounts of text files.
MV Command
Short for a move, it’s a compliment to the cut operation you do in the GUI.
Just like cp, you may use the mv command to move either single or many files from one
location to another.
With the -f option, you may compel this Linux programme to transmit big files.
CD Command
In Linux, the cd command is known as the “change directory” command.
It's used to switch to a different working directory.
To go back to the previous directory, you may use:
cd ..
and to go to some sub-directory, you could use:
cd [directory name]
MKDIR Command
This command is used to create new directories from the Linux terminal.
The command expects the name of the new directory after it. Let’s execute this
command and verify that the directory was actually created. You can verify it using ls
command which basically lists all the files and directories in the current working
RMDIR Command
The rmdir command removes a directory from the system. You must have write access in
the parent directory and the directory must be empty before you can delete it. To see if
a directory is empty, use the ls -al command.
DF Command
The df command is one of the most powerful Linux terminal tools for seeing important
information about your filesystem's disc space.
System administrators use it extensively to monitor and evaluate real-time server or
network-oriented systems.
DIR Command
The dir command, by default, lists files and directories in columns that are ordered
vertically, and special characters are represented by backslash escape sequences.
However, unlike ls, when the output is on the terminal, it does not create colourful
Clear Command
This command is used to clear the terminal screen. Type the following command in your
terminal and you will get the terminal outputs cleared. The below example of clear
command will erase all the text currently written on the terminal once you press enter.
Useradd Command
The useradd command in Linux is used to add user accounts to your system. In Linux, it is
just a symbolic link to the adduser command, with the difference that useradd is a native
binary built with the system, whereas adduser is a Perl script that uses the useradd
binary in the background.
To create a new user, you must have root access.
Userdel Command
The userdel command on a Linux system is used to delete a user account and its related
files. This command modifies the system account files by deleting any references to the
username LOGIN. It is a straightforward tool for removing users. You will need root
access for this command.
Passwd Command
This command is used to generate and manage user passwords.
A regular user can only change their own password, but a superuser can change the
password for all accounts. passwd command also changes the password's validity term.
Groupadd Command
In Linux, groups are collections of multiple users inside the OS. A single system can have
several users. In a multi-user system, certain users may be able to manage all privileges
at the user level while others do not. As a result, we may utilise groups to gather and
assign rights and permissions to the entire group. Try the following command to create
a group in your system.
sudo groupadd developer
Groupdel Command
The groupdel command is used to delete an existing group. It deletes all group-related
records, modifies system account files, and is administered by the superuser or root
user. The syntax for the command is
groupdel [options] GROUP
Mount Command
Unlike Windows, whether you attach an SD card or a USB device, your Linux distribution
is unlikely to recognise them immediately away.
To mount it using your existing filesystem, use the mount command.
Uname Command
The uname command is one in the best Linux command list that shows system
information such as name, version, and other attributes.
You may use this programme to quickly validate your operating system and kernel
versions, as well as your system's instruction length.
Using the -a option with the command gives comprehensive information on the kernel
and the operating system.
File Command
The file command is used to determine the file type. The file format can be humanreadable (for example, 'ASCII text') or MIME (for example, 'text/plain; charset=us-ascii').
The syntax for this command is shown below.
file [option] [file name]
COMM Command
You may use comm to check two files for similar and dissimilar lines. It was one of the
first Unix commands to make its way to Linux.
This is a must-have terminal for people who need to process large amounts of files on
the terminal.
SU Command
A user can run commands with the privileges of another user account by using the Unix
command su, which stands for substitute user. It starts a shell without changing the
current working directory or user environment.
When the command is run without the new user id as a command-line parameter, it
defaults to using the superuser account (user id 0).
su [username]
Which Command
This command will help you find all of the files you're looking for. This useful terminal
command uses specific parameters to search for binary files based on the $PATH
environment variable with great efficiency.
Whereis Command
The command whereis locates the source/binary file position of the command and uses
manual sections for a specific Linux file. It looks similar to the find command but
provides relatively accurate and fast results.
Ping Command
The ping command is used to test a network connection between two hosts. This
command accepts an IP address or a URL as input and sends a data packet with the
message "PING" to the specified address. The time it takes for the server/host to
respond is recorded, and this time is referred to as latency. This is helpful for network
administration and debugging.
Curl Command
curl is a command-line utility for transferring data to and from a server using any of the
supported protocols (HTTP, FTP, FILE, etc). This technology is recommended for
automation because it is designed to function without user intervention. This command
can also be used to download packages into your machine. curl can send and receive
multiple files at the same time.
This command can also be used to display the content of a specific URL. Let's look at an
Whatis Command
In Linux, whatis is used to get a brief explanation of a page manual. In Linux, each
manual page contains some kind of explanation of a topic. This control looks for manual
page names and displays the file name or argument manual page description.
The following command prints debugging information once we use -d option.
Iptables Command
The iptables command starts a terminal programme that allows system administrators
to manage incoming and outgoing internet traffic on a single host computer. It is one of
the most commonly used Linux commands by system administrators to identify
legitimate network traffic and to block suspicious or untrusted network requests.
ARP Command
The arp command modifies the ARP cache of the system. ARP is an abbreviation for
Address Resolution Protocol. The primary function of this protocol is to resolve a
system's IP address to its mac address.
Traceroute Command
This command is widely used by security professionals to identify the path a network
packet takes from one system to another by combining it with other terminal
commands. This is a handy network command that can defend your system against a
wide range of hostile intruders.
Chown Command
The chown command allows you to change the owner of a file or directory to a different
user or group.
All files in Linux are connected with an owner and a group, and authorization access
privileges are assigned to the file owner, group members, and others. Below is the
syntax for the command.
Chmod Command
The chmod command is used in Unix-like operating systems to alter the access mode of
a file. Change mode is an acronym for the name. The references are used to
differentiate the users to whom the permissions apply, i.e. they are a list of letters that
specify to whom access should be granted.
The below example gives read and write permissions to the owner of the file named
NL Command
This command simply lists the number of lines present in a file along with the content in
each line. Let’s look at an example for this command.
SS Command
ss stands for socket statistics. It is a command that displays network statistics. The ss
command is a more efficient version of the netstat command. ss, in conjunction with the
ip command, is useful for gathering network information and troubleshooting network
Last Command
The last command displays information about the most recently logged-in users. It's
very useful when we need to track login activities of the users or to identify the source
of some unusual activity. The information about logins and logouts are stored in a log
file: “/var/log/wtmp”.
I hope this basic Linux commands manual will help you to execute your many tasks and
make it easier for you while executing. The above Linux commands list is the top pick by
our community members who are experts and Linux Administrator. This article is also
used for Linux terminal command. If you feel we have missed listing any Linux
commands cheat sheet here which is also the most useful commands then comment
that in the below listed comment section.
You can request us also for the PDF of this Linux commands list for examples.
Also, you can try to practice these commands with Linux VPS Server.
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