Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that can run on various devices, from desktops and laptops to servers and smartphones. However, many beginners may find it intimidating to use Linux because of its command-line interface, which requires typing commands instead of clicking icons. In this article, we will introduce some basic Linux commands that can help you get started with Linux and perform common tasks.
Before we begin, you need to know how to access the command-line interface of Linux. There are two ways to do this: using a terminal emulator or logging in to a virtual console. A terminal emulator is a program that runs on your graphical desktop environment and lets you interact with the command-line. You can launch a terminal emulator from your application menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on most Linux distributions. A virtual console is a text-only mode that you can switch to by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 to F6. To return to your graphical desktop, press Ctrl+Alt+F7.
Once you have access to the command-line interface, you can start typing commands. A command consists of a name followed by optional arguments and options. For example, the command ls lists the files and directories in your current working directory. You can add options to modify the behavior of the command, such as -l to show more details or -a to show hidden files. You can also specify arguments to tell the command what to operate on, such as ls Documents to list the files and directories in the Documents directory.
Here are some of the most useful Linux commands for beginners:
pwd: Prints the name of your current working directory.
cd: Changes your current working directory. For example, cd Downloads changes your working directory to the Downloads directory. You can also use cd .. to go up one level or cd to go to your home directory.
mkdir: Creates a new directory. For example, mkdir Projects creates a new directory named Projects in your current working directory.
rmdir: Removes an empty directory. For example, rmdir Projects removes the Projects directory if it is empty.
cp: Copies files and directories. For example, cp file1 file2 copies file1 to file2. You can also use -r option to copy directories recursively.
mv: Moves or renames files and directories. For example, mv file1 file2 renames file1 to file2 or moves it to another location if file2 is a directory.
rm: Removes files and directories. For example, rm file1 removes file1. You can also use -r option to remove directories recursively.
cat: Concatenates and displays files. For example, cat file1 file2 displays the contents of file1 and file2 together. You can also use > operator to redirect the output to another file, such as cat file1 file2 > file3, which creates or overwrites file3 with the contents of file1 and file2.
echo: Prints a message or a variable value. For example, echo Hello World! prints Hello World! on the screen. You can also use $ sign to refer to a variable, such as $USER, which holds your username.
nano: Launches a simple text editor that lets you create and edit files. For example, nano file1 opens file1 for editing or creates it if it does not exist. You can use Ctrl+O to save your changes and Ctrl+X to exit.
manual pages (man): Provides detailed information about commands and their usage. For example, displays the aa16f39245