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A selection of Linux commands

There are a large number of Linux commands to control your system. We have put together a small overview of the most common Linux & Unix commands that you can use for all Linux distributions. 

Before you start looking at the most commonly used Linux commands, you should have a Terminal boot. In most Linux distributions one uses for this purpose Ctrl + Alt + T. If that doesn't work, search for "Terminal" in your application window.

File and directory commands

lsListing of directories (show contents of a directory)
cdChange directory
cpCopy a file or directory
mvMove or rename a file
chmodChange access rights of a file or directory
chownChange owner and group of a file or directory
ddCopy data block by block, clone, delete, create images, and much more...
diffComparing the contents of two files line by line
dfShow free space of all mounted drives
youDisplay memory consumption of a directory
grepSearch files
lsofOpen files display
mountMount file system
pwdDisplays the current working directory
umountUnmount file system
mkdirCreate a directory / folder
rmDelete files and directories
rmdirDelete a directory
rsyncData synchronization / data transmission
ftpStart FTP
sftpStart SFTP
scpsecure data transfer
shredSecurely delete data
Linux commands

File Search

findSearch files by date, size, change, name and pattern.
grepSearch text within a file or output
locateQuick search of files by means of locatedb database
whereisSearching programs in predefined directories
whichLocates a program which is located in the PATH
Linux commands

Pack and unpack (compress) file

bunzip2Decompresses bz2 files
bzip2Compresses files in bz2 format
compressCompresses files
gunzipDecompresses gz files
gzipCompresses files in gz format
tarCreate tar archives
uncompressDecompresses files
unzipDecompresses Zip files
zipCompresses files in Zip format
Linux commands

System commands

freeDisplay utilization of the working memory
uptimeShows how long the system is running
dateDisplays the system date and time
psShows the status of a process
pstreeDisplays all processes in a tree view
unameShow system information
topDisplays the processes running on the system "live
killEnd a process immediately
killallTerminate multiple processes with a specific name
clearClear the console screen
manSystem manual (manual or manpage) for a command, application or file (manual)
rebootRestart the system
shutdownShut down the system
wallSend a message to all connected users
whichLocate a command (show path to the command)
Linux commands

Manage users and groups

chfnEdit information of a user
idDisplay of user ID and group ID (identifier)
lastShow the last logins by date and time
loginUser (re)login
whoShow the users currently logged in to the system
whoamiDisplay of the user currently being worked with
passwdChange password of a user
suLog in as admin, or SU + username change the user
sudoRun a command as admin
useraddCreate a user
userdelDelete a user
usermodChange a user
groupaddCreate a user group
groupdelDelete a user group
groupmodChange a user group
Linux commands

Network commands

pingSend data packets to an IP (to check the connection).
tracerouteTrack a data packet
netstatLists all currently used ports
nslookupName resolution
digDNS lookup tool
ifconfigStatus and configuration of the network interface
Linux commands

Hardware commands

lscpuShow CPU information
lshwShow hardware information
lspciShow PCI hardware information
lsusbShow USB hardware information
Linux commands

Other commands

tarCompress and decompress files
zipCompress Zip archives
unzipDecompress Zip archives
headOutput of the first lines of a file
tailOutput of the last lines of a file
lessScrollable display of a text file
xargsConvert standard input to command lines
wgetDownload files from the web, supports HTTP, HTTPS and FTP
curlTransfer files from or to a server
sshEstablish a secure connection to another system
calCalls a simple calendar
Linux commands
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