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In my three months of being a software developer I have grown to love the Linux Bash CLI.

In this post, we will explore some simple Linux commands that will help you get more comfortable working with the command line.

  • ls (lists all non-hidden files in current directory)
  • ls -la (lists all files in current directory)
  • cat filename.txt (prints the contents of the file to the screen)
  • vim filename.txt (opens up file in vim text editor)
  • [tab] (pressing tab autocompletes path or filename if it is in the directory)
  • rm -rf images (removes file or folder recursively and forced, use with caution!)
  • cp images/pic1.jpg . (copies the jpg to the current directory)
  • mv images/pic1.jpg . (moves the jpg to the current directory)
  • pwd (prints current path)
  • mkdir temp (makes a new directory)
  • touch file1.txt (creates a new file)
  • cd folder1/folder2 (navigates to other directories)
  • cd .. cd ../.. (go back a number of directories)
  • cd - (go back to the last directory you were in)
  • file filename.txt (lists what type of file)
  • whatis vim (lists usages of command, i.e. vim)
  • man (command) (looks up the manual for a specific command)


A very powerful feature of Linux is the function of piping. Most linux commands do one thing very well. If you would like to combine multiple function together you can use a pipe: |

If you would like to print a file, but only want the last 30 lines you would use:

cat file1.txt | tail -n 30

Now for some more advanced commands:

  • h | grep {keyword} (lists history for all commands which use the keyword)
  • grep in itself is a very useful command for filtering and searching for specific characters
  • ctrl+R (reverse search, begin typing and this command will search in the history for something that fits this)
  • ps -aux (lists all processes running on your machine)

More to come

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