Linux Terminal Commands List - Overview: Console


Overview of Linux commands and their descriptions ...


[command] --help outputs a short help text for the respective command
man [Command]

shows the manual page of the command

Basic functions

Command Description
alias Creates alias names for commands.
at Execute a command once at a specified time
batch Execute a command once when the system is not busy
cal Displays a calendar
clear Clears the console
comm Selects equal lines of the output/file
crontab Displays the user-specific cron table or opens it for editing
date Outputs the current date.
echo Outputs a text to the console.
env Outputs all environment variables.
expr Evaluate expressions.
find Searches the directory tree, starting from the current directory, for a file.
fold Breaks overlong lines
grep Searches for a string in a file, or a redirected output (echo test.txt | grep blafasel)
halt Shutdown of the system.
history Prints the entries in the history file of the user numbered
hostname Displays the name of the computer
init Change runlevel
join Concatenates lines of output
logout Log out from the console
nl Numbers the lines of the output
pr Converts texts for printing.
printenv Outputs all environment variables.
reboot  Restart the system (like shutdown -r now)
rev Invert string
shutdown -r now Reboot the system (like reboot)
shutdown -h now Shut down the system
sleep  Wait seconds
sort Sorts the output of programs, respectively files
startx starts the X-Window system, a graphical user interfacee
strings Extracts all (readable) strings from a file/input
sum Determines file length and checksum of a file
tee Doubles the output of a program (for simultaneous display on the screen and logging to a file)
type Displays the type of a file and the interpretation of the file name as a parameter
uniq Removes duplicate lines in a file
wc Counts letters, lines and words of the input. e.g. to count the number of files in a folder: ls -1 | wc -l


Command Description
badblocks Searches a partition for damaged blocks (BadBlocks)
basename Prints a file name without path information
cat Joins several files and prints the result
cd Switches to the user's home directory
cd [directory] Switches to the specified directory
cd .. Switches to the parent directory
cd / Switches to the root directory
cd - changes to the previous directory
chgrp change group membership of a file
chmod change access rights
chown change owner of a file
cmp Compares two files for matching
cp Copies files and directories
cpio Copies files to/from archives
dirname Prints only the path to a file
dd Copies partitions/file systems byte by byte, see Cloning, Copying, Image Tools
dumpe2fs Prints information about the file system on a partition
e2fsck Checks and repairs Linux ext2 file systems
e2label Assigns a label to a file system or prints the label
fdisk Creates and deletes partitions. Displays the current partition table
file Displays the file type of a file.
fsck Checks and repairs Linux file systems
head Prints the first lines of a file
hdparm Program for setting various parameters of a hard disk
less [file] like more but you can also scroll upwards
ln Creates a link to a file/directory
ls Displays the contents of the current or specified directory
mkdirhere Creates a directory hierarchy
mkdir Creates a new directory
mkdosfs Creates a Dos (FAT16 and FAT32) filesystem on the specified partition
mke2fs Creates an ext2 filesystem on the specified partition
mkfs Frontend to different filesystem creators
mkswap Creates a Linux swap partition on the specified partition
mount e.g.mount /mnt/cdrom Mounts a file system (a partition, disk..) into the directory tree (to a mountpoint)
more displays the contents of a file page by page (only downwards).
mv Moves files and directories (also renames)
pwd Displays the current directory
rm -rf [Verz] Deletes files and directories below [Verz].
rmdir Deletes a directory
split Split file (e.g. for transport by mail or floppy disk)
tail Prints the last lines of a file
touch Changes the timestamp of files. If a file does not exist, it will be created with a size of 0 bytes.
tune2fs Program to set various parameters of the ext2 filesystem (e.g. maximum mount count)
umount Detaches a filesystem from the directory tree


Command Description
ftp Opens an FTP session to the specified computer (FTP server) FTP : File Transfer Protocol
ifconfig shows the current IP address (like ipconfig in Windows)
ipchains tool to configure the kernel firewall
netdate time synchronization with a remote computer
netstat Prints information about network connections, routing tables
ping Sends small data packets to the given IP address and waits for a response, tool to check network connection
rcp Remote Copy. Copy function on a remote computer.
route create static routes
telnet opens a telnet session to the specified computer (remote control)
tty shows the device you are logged in with


Command Description
df Displays the memory usage of the partitions of the system,
du Shows the memory usage of individual directories e.g. for specific folders: du -sh *
free Shows the memory usage of the system. Divided into RAM and SWAP space.
kill Terminates the process with the given process ID (PID)
killall Kills all processes with the given name
killproc Kills the process whose executable file can be found in the given path
nice Sets the priority of a process
nohup Starts a program immune to SIGHUPs
pidof prints the PID(s) of the process with the given name
ps Displays all processes with their PID, the user ID of the executing user, the terminal ID etc.
pstree Displays all processes in a tree view
top Displays processes in a constantly updating list. The processes that need the most CPU time are shown at the top.
uptime Displays the uptime of the machine. The uptime is the time since the last reboot.


Command Description
lpq Display print jobs
lpr Add print job to printer queue
lprm Delete print job
lptest Output test pattern for printer test (lptest | lpr)
Command Description
find Extensive search tool e.g. find . | grep [file] searches starting from the current directory for [FILE].
locate searches files using an index created by updatedb
updatedb Creates a search index over the whole file system for locate
whereis [program] Searches the binary (executable file), the source code and the man page of a program
which Specifies the first found path of a program in the path (echo /usr/local/apache/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:)


Command Description
chfn Change the user information of an AccountRoom-NumberWork-PhoneHome-Phone
chsh Change the login shell of a user account
exit Leave current session
finger Prints the login name, real name, terminal name, write status, idle time (time since last account use), login time, location, and office phone number of the specified user account.
groupadd Create a new user group
groupdel Delete an existing user group
groupmod Modify the data of an existing user group
groups Shows the group membership of a user
id own login name including group
last shows the last logins
login Log in as user
logname Returns the own login name
newgrp Change the current group
passwd Set or change the password of a user
su Open a new session with another account
sudo Execute command as root.
useradd Create a new user account
userdel Delete a user.
usermod Modify an existing user account.
who Prints the login names of the currently logged in users
whoami Prints the own login name
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