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Linux Commands Quick Reference


Command Description
ls Lists the files in the current working directory
cd Changes the current directory in order to navigate to a new directory
mv Moves a file or directory to a new location
mkdir Makes a directory
rmdir Removes an empty directory
touch Creates a file
rm Removes a file (or a directory using the -r option)
locate Locates a file in a directory
clear Clears the terminal of all previous outputs
history Shows the history of previous commands
find Finds files in a directory
grep Searches files or outputs
awk A programming language for pattern scanning and processing
id Shows the list of groups for a user
du Shows disk usage
env Prints the current environment variables
less Displays a file
cp Copies a file (or a directory using the -r option)
alias Creates an alias, which is essentially an abbreviated command
pwd Prints the current working directory
chmod Changes file permissions
chgrp Changes group for a file or directory
ldd Shows the shared libraries required for an executable or library
top Displays the node usage
/usr/bin/time Shows time and memory statistics for a command being run
bg Continues running a paused task in the background
fg Brings a background task into the foreground
Ctrl + c Kills a process
Ctrl + z Suspends a process
Ctrl + r Searches the command history for a string


Special characters are useful in many commands.


Character Description
~ Indicates the home directory
. Indicates current working directory
.. Indicates parent of current working directory
* Wildcard character for any string
| Connects the output of a command to the input of another
> Redirects a command output


For complete details on any command listed above and more, use man <command> in a terminal session to display the manual page for the command or search online for more detailed usage of fundamental Linux commands.