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Common Linux Commands

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Linux is an open source operating system that has been available since the mid 1990’s and powers multiple devices from home appliances to smartphones. Linux is comprised of various different distributions such as Ubuntu, CentOS and Linux Mint. Each distro has it’s own take on the desktop and overall user environment for home PC use, however when utilizing Linux for a server you’ll primarily utilize the terminal or shell interface. Like all operating systems Linux has a plethora of different commands that can be utilized from within the shell or terminal interface.

In this article we will list off some of the most common commands with a brief explanation as to what they do, without further ado let’s get started!


What Are Some Common Linux Commands?

Command Description Example
ls List directory contents ls or ls -lah
cd Change directory cd /home
pwd Print your current working directory pwd
top Displays the resources currently being used on your system like a task manager top -c
df Display disk space df -h
du Show how much disk space a file is taking up du /home
find Searches for files with a given pattern find filename
less View a file’s contents in a pager format one page at a time cat filename | less
clear Clears the terminal screen clear
chown Change ownership of a file chown username:group filename
chmod Change permissions of a file or files chmod 644 /home/filename
cat Display the contents of a file usually on the monitor cat filename
grep Isolate a specific pattern from a file or output cat filename | grep pattern
man Opens up the manual to display helpful information for a specified command man nameofcommand
mkdir Creates a new directory mkdir newfolder
touch Creates a new file touch newfile
w Display who is logged in and what they are up to w
kill Kills a specified process kill -9 pid
mv Move or rename files/directories mv oldfile newfile


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