1K Linux Commands

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1024 Commands: An Introduction to the Linux Command Line

This brief tutorial demonstrates some of the basics of the Linux command line environment using the Bash shell. A reader should have no trouble using another shell as this tutorial largely avoids shell-specific features. Instead, it focuses on a general set of Linux commands.

The Basics

A shell is just a program stored on a computer. When executed, the shell provides an interactive process for issuing commands.

A shell is a program that helps a user interact with a computing environment. The core functionality of most shells, particularly in a Unix environment, is to locate and execute programs on behalf of the user. The user types a command; commands typically include the name of a program and some arguments or data for that program to operate on. The shell locates the named program, supplies the arguments to the program, and waits for the program to complete.

It is important to realize that the shell typically acts like a dispatcher -- except in the cases where it uses its own built-in functionality (or in cases where the user invokes shell-specific scripting commands), the shell merely looks up the location of the named program and asks the operating system to execute that program. Commands (most of which are separate programs) are typically stored in a few well-known locations in the file system, such as /bin, /usr/bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin and the user's own bin/ directory in their home directory. For example, the /bin directory of a recent distribution of Linux includes

Unix and Linux environments come with a large variety of commands. Commands are typically external programs, although some functionality is built into the shell because it is simple.

The first place to start is knowing how to access documentation. Most Linux shell environments come equipped

1024 Commands

Other Resources

  • In the Beginning Was the Command Line (Neal Stephenson)