Linux is an open-source operating system that has grown immensely in popularity over the years. Few of the reasons for this is the powerful command-line interface (CLI), and commands that it offers. Whether you’re a seasoned developer, an aspiring system administrator, or a curious user just dipping your toes, understanding the foundational Linux commands is paramount as it can significantly increase productivity and troubleshooting capabilities.
In this article, we will cover the top 10 essential Linux commands that every user should know.
1. pwd (Print Working Directory)
The ‘pwd’ command is used to display the current working directory of the user. It is helpful for navigating the file system and understanding the location of a particular file or directory.
2. ls (List Directory Contents)
The ‘ls’ command is used to list the contents of a directory. By default, it shows the content of the current directory. However, you can also specify a different directory as an argument.
ls ls /path/to/directory
3. cd (Change Directory)
The ‘cd’ command is used to change the current working directory. To navigate to a specific directory, provide the directory path as an argument.
4. mkdir (Make Directory)
The ‘mkdir’ command is used to create a new directory. Provide the name of the new directory as an argument.
5. rmdir (Remove Directory)
The ‘rmdir’ command is used to remove an empty directory. Provide the directory name as an argument.
6. touch (Create a New File)
The ‘touch’ command is used to create a new, empty file. Provide the name of the new file as an argument.
7. rm (Remove File)
The ‘rm’ command is used to remove a file. Provide the file name as an argument. To remove a directory and its contents, use the ‘-r’ option.
rm file_name rm -r directory_name
8. cp (Copy File)
The ‘cp’ command is used to copy files or directories from one location to another. Provide the source file or directory as the first argument and the destination as the second argument.
cp source_file destination cp -r source_directory destination
9. mv (Move or Rename File)
The ‘mv’ command is used to move files or directories from one location to another, or to rename them. Provide the source file or directory as the first argument and the destination or new name as the second argument.
mv source_file destination mv old_name new_name
10. grep (Global Regular Expression Print)
The ‘grep’ command is a powerful text-searching tool that searches for a pattern within a file or multiple files. It uses regular expressions to match the desired pattern. Provide the search pattern as the first argument and the file(s) to search as the second argument.
grep 'search_pattern' file_name
These are the top 10 essential Linux commands that every user should know. While there are many more commands and options available in Linux, mastering these basics will help you confidently navigate the file system, manipulate files and directories, and search for specific content.
As you become more comfortable with the command line, you can explore additional commands and expand your skillset.