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Old 10-25-2007, 10:36 AM   #1
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Best commands?

I was wondering what people think of this list on search enterprise linux. It's almost two years old and I'm wondering if some of these commands are out of date.

1. Alias
Alias allows you to substitute a small or more familiar name in place of a long string.

2. apt-get
The apt-get program searches for and installs software packages on Debian-based systems.

3. Aspell
GNU Aspell is a free, open source spell checker. It's known for its stellar list of replacements for misspelled words.

4. Awk
Awk searches for patterns in a file and processes them. It enables a programmer to write small programs in the form of statements to make changes in text files when certain patterns appear or extract data from those files. This command simplifies a process historically done in C or Pascal languages.

5. Bzip2
Reduce the size of backup files by by compressing them with bzip2, which can also be used for decompressing files.

6. cat
Abbreviated from the word "concatenate," which means to link things together, cat is used in Linux to link file contents and output them for viewing or printing.

7. cd
The cd command sets the working directory of a process.

8. chmod
Chmod is a utility that changes the permission of a file.

chown is a utility that is also used to change file ownership.

9. cmp
Cmp compares files and lets you know if two or more files are identical.

10. comm
Comm compares sorted files and selects or rejects lines common to two files.

11. cp
The cp command is used to copy files.
Cp is used to copy the kernel to the boot area in "Try before you buy with Linux 2.6."

12. cpio
Back up empty directories with cpio, which restores files from an creates an archive.
More info:

13. cron
Cron is used for scheduling tasks.

14. declare
Declare variables and/or give them attributes with this command.

15. df
The df command reports filesystem disk space usage.

16. echo
This command lets you echo a string variable to standard output.

17. enable
Enables or disables a printer.

18. eval
This POSIX special built-in command evaluates several arguments by reading them as one concatenated argument, then reports on that argument's status.

19. exec
Short for "execute," exec replaces the parent process by whatever command is typed.

There is more than one use for exec. Learn some new ones in this excerpt from Unix Power Tools, 2nd Edition.
20. exit
Allows you to exit from a program, shell or UNIX network.

21. export
Export sets the value of a variable so it is visible to all sub-processes that belong to the current shell.

22. find
Find searches the directory tree rooted at each given file name by evaluating the given expression from left to right, according to the rules of precedence (see section OPERATORS), until the outcome is known (the left hand side is false for and operations, true for or), at which point find moves on to the next file name.
This manual page documents the GNU version of find.

23. free
The free command enables admins to find statistics about memory usage, showing the total of free, used, physical, swap, shared and other memory used by the kernel.

24. grep
Grep is a command used for searching one or more files for a given character string or pattern. It can also be used to replace the character string with another one.

25. gzip
gzip is a compression utility designed to be a replacement for compress. Its main advantages over compress are much better compression and freedom from patented algorithms. It has been adopted by the GNU project and is now relatively popular on the Internet. gzip was written by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler for the decompression code.
More information

26. ifconfig
ifconfig checks a network interface configuration. It can be used, for example, to verify a user's configuration if the user's system has been recently configured or if the user's system cannot reach the remote host while other systems on the same network can.

27. ifup
Starts up network interface.

28. ifdown
Shuts down network interface.

29. less
The less command lets an admin scroll through configuration and error log files, displaying text files one screen at a time. The command will enables a search for text within files.

The less command is also discussed in this tip: Put these troubleshooting tools in your toolbox

More goes hand-in-hand with the less command and displays text one screen at a time.

30. locate
Locate lists files in a database that match a pattern.

Secure Locate provides a secure way to index and quickly search for files on your system. It uses incremental encoding just like GNU locate to compress its database to make searching faster, but it will also store file permissions and ownership so that users will not see files they do not have access to. More information
This site gives variations on locate and slocate and how to use them. It also offers different methods for finding files in Linux.

31. ls
The ls command shows information about files. With it, admins can list the contents of a directory in order to determine when the configurations files were last edited. There are many subcommands under ls, such as ls-r, which can reverse the order in which files are displayed.

32. man
Short for "manual," man unveils information about commands and a keyword search mechanism for needed commands.

Information about the Unix/Linux man command
The man command is also discussed in this tip: Put these troubleshooting tools in your toolbox 33. neat
Neat is a GNOME GUI admin tool. Among other things, net lets admins specify information needed to set up a network card.

34. netconfig, netcfg
Netconfig, a command used in configuring a network, displays a series of screens that ask for configuration information.

35. netstat
The netstat command shows the network status by symbolically displaying the contents of various network-related data structures. There are a number of output formats, depending on the options for the information presented.

36. ping
The ping command (named after the sound of an active sonar system) sends echo requests to the host you specify on the command line, and lists the responses received their round trip time. When you terminate ping (probably by hitting control-C) it summarizes the results, giving the average round trip time and the percent packet loss. This command is used constantly to determine whether there is a problem with the network connection between two hosts.

37. pwd
pwd is short for print working directory. The pwd command displays the name of the current working directory.

38. rpm
The Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) is a command-line driven package-management system capable of installing, uninstalling, verifying, querying and updating computer software packages. Each software package consists of an archive of files along with information about the package like its version and a description.

39. rsync
Rsync is focused on synching data from one disk location to another. It was created by Andrew Tridgell, one of Samba's core team.

40. screen The screen utility is a terminal multiplexor; in essence this means that you can use a single terminal window to run multiple terminal applications.

41. sed
Sed (streams editor) isn't really a true text editor or text processor. Instead, it is used to filter text, i.e., it takes text input and performs some operation (or set of operations) on it and outputs the modified text. Sed is typically used for extracting part of a file using pattern matching or substituting multiple occurrences of a string within a file.

42. shutdown
Shutdown is a command that turns off the computer and can be combined with variables such as -h for halt or -r for reboot.

43. Snort
Snort is an open source network intrusion-prevention and detection system utilizing a rule-driven language, which combines the benefits of signature, protocol and anomaly based inspection methods. With millions of downloads to date, Snort is the most widely deployed intrusion detection and prevention technology worldwide and has become the de facto standard for the industry.

44. sudo
Sudo (superuser do) allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while logging the commands and arguments.

45. ssh
Ssh is used for secure network connections and tunneling of TCP services.
OpenSSH is one open source SSH version.

46. tar
The tar program provides the ability to create tar archives, as well as various other kinds of manipulation. For example, you can use tar on previously created archives to extract files, store additional files, or update or list files. Initially, tar archives were used to store files on magnetic tape. The name "tar" comes from this use; it stands for "tape archiver." Despite the utility's name, tar can direct its output to available devices, files, or other programs. Tar may even access remote devices or files.

47. traceroute
Traceroute determines a route to the host and is very useful for distinguishing network/router issues. If the domain does not work or is not available you can traceroute an IP.

48. vi
Vi is a screen-based editor preferred by many Unix users. The Vi editor has powerful features to aid programmers.
Learn more in this tutorial: Mastering the vi editor

49. vmstat
The vmstat command is used to get a snapshot of everything in a system, helping admins determine whether the bottleneck is CPU, memory or I/O. Run this command to get virtual memory statistics.

Also check out: How to keep an eye on Linux performance.
50. wget
Wget is a network utility to retrieve files from the Web using http and ftp, the two most widely used Internet protocols. It works non-interactively, so it will work in the background, after having logged off.
Old 10-25-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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No, not out of date.
Old 10-25-2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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yeah, I'm still a Linux noob, so I wouldn't know.

thanks, weibullguy
Old 10-25-2007, 12:17 PM   #4
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I'd get rid of the apt-get and rpm. They're both distro
specific ;}

Old 10-25-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
I'd get rid of the apt-get and rpm. They're both distro
specific ;}
They may not be the best commands for package management (./configure && make && make install are the best commands!!), but they're not out of date. They cover probably 90+% of distros' package managers. Plus, the LSB defines RPM with some restrictions as the preferred way of distributing packages.


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