Linux Tutorials
About Lesson

Why Linux?

Linux can operate as a web, file, SMB (WinNT), Novell, printer, ftp, mail, SQL, masquerading, firewall, and POP server to name but a few.

It can act as a graphics, C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, SQL, audio, video, and documentation, development workstation etc.

Linux is a good solution for developers that need a stable and reliable platform that has
open source code. Its not a good system for beginning developers that want a simple GUI
interface to a programming language, although Linux has many GUI software development
Linux is ideal as a workstation also, and offers many customizable features not found in
any other platform. It makes a good platform for dedicated workstaions that have limited
functions like in an educational or laboratory environment.

Command Line Basics

CLI stands for command line interface. It is a program that allows users to type text commands instructing the computer to do specific tasks.

Logging In To Your Account

Log into your system with the login name and password given to you. You will see something like :


Your system should always prompt you with the name of the shell (bash) and your login name. This is a customizable feature in the bash shell which you are now using. BASH is short for Bourne Again SHell. It was written by Steve Bourne as a replacement to the original Bourne Shell (represented by /bin/sh). It combines all the features from the original version of Bourne Shell, plus additional functions to make it easier and more convenient to use. It has since been adapted as the default shell for most systems running Linux.

Command Structure

Command -options Other parameters

First comes the command name, followed by options. Options are normally preceded
by a dash or minus sign. There is always a space between the command and the dash.
Some commands use no options at all. After the options comes any other parameters or
informations that command may need.


Help, Search, Info Tools:

env [-opts] [exp] Print environment or run a command with another environment.
find [path] [exp] Find files in path using exp
info keyword List info help pages containing keyword locate keyword Locate all files of name keyword in a database
man -k keyword List man pages with keyword (same as apropos keyword)
man command Display the manual for command
printenv Print environment variables (see set)
set [vars] Print/Set environment vars and functions
whatis keyword Search the whatis DB for keyword
whereis command Locate source/binary and manuals for command
which command Display path of command

Text Manipulation Tools

awk| gawk [pgrm][file] Filter file by pgrm
cat file Display contents of file without paging
clear Clears the screen. Same as Ctrl+L
grep pattern file Finds pattern in file
head file List the first few lines of file more file Display & page the text file (See less)
sed [script] file Stream edit/filter file using script
tail [-opts] file List the trailing lines of file
tr chars1 chars2 file Change chars in chars1 to chars2
less file Display & page the text file

General Tools

cd dir Change cwd to dir (home if dir omitted)
chmod perms files Change file permissions of files
chown filesChange file owner and/or group
chsh Change the default shell
cp [-opts] f1 (f2|dir) Copy file f1 to f2 or directory dir
date Displays the date
kill pid Kills process ID pid
ln [-opts] Old New Link Old to New
login [username] Login to system with UID username
lpr file Print file on the default printer
ls [file] Listing for file (cwd if file omitted)
mkdir dir Creates directory dir
mv file1 file2 Rename file1 to file2
passwd [-opt] username Change password
ps [-opts] Output a list of currently active processes
pwd List the current working directory
rm files Removes files
startx Start the X-Windowing system
tar [-opt][arch][file] Manage tar archives
telnet [host [port]] Connect to the remote host
uname [-opts] Output name and version number of OS
who List users logged into this system
xterm [-opts] Start a brand new X-terminal window

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