Linux and Unix examples, commands, and tutorials

This page is an index to the Unix and Linux command tutorials and examples we've created. We've found that while Unix and Linux are powerful operating systems, its cryptic commands can sometimes be hard to remember, so hopefully these "Learn Unix by Example" tutorials will help make your Unix and Linux life easier.

File Management

The following commands are used to work with files and directories:

cat
"concatenate", used to display files, or concatenate files
cd
"change directory", used to move between directories
chmod
"change mode", lets you change file permissions
chown
"change owner", lets you change file ownership permissions
compress
used to compress files (this is an older command; see gzip or bzip2 for more modern approaches)
cp
used to copy files and directories
file
used to determine a file's "type"
ls
"list", list files and directories
mkdir
"make directory", used to create new directories
more
used to control the display of output, lets you page through the results
mv
"move", used to move files and directories
pwd
"print working directory", shows the directory you are currently in
rm
"remove", used to remove files and directories
wc
"word count", used to count characters, words, and lines in text files and/or standard input

Searching

The following commands are used to search files and directories:

find
a powerful command used to find files and directories with a wealth of search criteria
grep
"general regular expression parser", might be better named "search" or "textsearch"
locate
used to quickly find filenames anywhere on the file system

System Status

The following commands provide information about your Unix/Linux system:

df
"disk free", used to show information about free disk space on filesystems
du
"disk usage", most often used to determine the size of directories
lsof
list open files; typically used by system administrators to debug problems
ps
"process statistics", used to show the processes currently running on the system
top
a utility to show processes running, cpu usage, memory usage
who
show who is currently logged in

Text Processing

Unix and Linux text processing commands. Since their initial creation, Unix systems have been known as having powerful text processing commands.

cut
cut fields and columns from text output and files
grep
"general regular expression parser", might be better named "search" or "textsearch"
sort
used to sort information provided on standard input
vi/vim
vi/vim, the standard unix/linux text editor
sed
a "streamline editor", lets you edit files with commands, with no need for a text editor

Internet and Networking

You'll use these commands to work with networks and the internet from your Unix/Linux system:

curl
used to download web pages and other resources over the internet, from the command line (see wget)
ping
you can "ping" another computer to see if it is alive
wget
used to download web pages and other resources over the internet, from the command line (see curl)

Archives and Storage

This is a collection of tutorials about using Linux archives -- collections of files stored in one other file. The tar and gzip commands are the most popular commands today. The 'compress' command is included here for legacy reasons.

compress
used to compress files (older)
tar
"tape archive", create archives, and read/write from tapes and diskettes
gzip
used to compress files and archives (gunzip used to decompress them)
bzip2
also used to compress files

Printing

This is a collection of articles about Unix and Linux printing. (Note: I haven't used these commands since the 1990s, they may have changed quite a bit.)

cancel
used to cancel print requests
lp
"line printer"; used to submit print jobs
lpstat
"line printer statistics"; used to display information about printer queues

Miscellaneous

Here are a couple of "miscellaneous" commands. There are more that I need to document at some point:

alias
used to create new commands from existing commands
crontab
crontab is used to schedule unix/linux jobs to run at certain times

Unix/Linux shell script examples

Finally, here are links to just a few of our Unix and Linux shell script examples.

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