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20 Most Used Linux Commands

Linux is an open-source operating system. It is based on the Linux kernel and this operating system is a typical package in a Linux distribution. It was developed for the computers who were using intelx86 architecture. There are many commands in the Linux environment which are used for numerous other purposes. The following are some of the most important Linux commands which are frequently used by the users while working in the Linux environment.

Here’s the list of Linux commands with examples that might be a great cheat sheet for any developer:

  1. Cd command
  2. ls command
  3. Man command
  4. Cat command
  5. Mkdir command
  6. Chmod command/a>
  7. Rmdir command
  8. Touch command
  9. Locate command
  10. Clear command
  11. Rm command
  12. Mv command
  13. Curl command
  14. Echo command
  15. Free command
  16. Groups command
  17. Head command
  18. History command
  19. Passwd command
  20. Ping command

1. cd Linux command

The cd command is one of the most used Linux commands. The purpose of this command is to change the directory. In other words, it enables to switch between file lists. For example, if you needed to shift from the home directory to the myfile directory, you would enter the following command:


2. ls command

The ls command is the most common and the most used command in the Linux environment. The ls command is also called as the list command which works in the Linux terminal to display all of the important folders or directories listed under a particular file system. For instance, the command:

ls /myfiles

3. man command

The man command is one of the best Linux commands. This command is also known as the manual command. It is used to display the manual use of the inserted command. In other words, it is the meta command of Linux. Entering the man command will display all the information about the command. For example:

man ls

The above command will display all the necessary information about the ls command.

4. cat command

The cat Linux command is a short form of concatenate. It lists the information of files to the Linux terminal window. This is much quicker than opening the file in an editor. If you want to read the data of .bash_log_out file, enter the following command:

cat .bash_logout

5. mkdir command

mkdir Linux is one of the basic Linux commands in the environment. As the name suggests, this command is used to make a directory or in other words, it used to create a directory. The following command will create a new folder called a test folder. An example of the mkdir command:

mkdir testfolder

6. chmod command

The chmod command is used to set the file permission or a flag on a folder or a file. The flags describe who can read, write into the file or a folder. This is one of the most crucial commands of the Linux environment. It is widely used by the administrators. For example,

chmod -R 7 test.txt

7. rmdir command

Just like the mkdir Linux command, rmdir is also one of the most used commands. This command allows users to remove any file or directory from a particular location. In other words, you can use this command to delete a particular directory. For example, the following command will remove the mydirectory from the system.

rmdir mydirectory

8. touch command

The touch command is just like a mkdir command. The main difference between touch command and mkdir is that the touch command allows its users to create a text file or a .doc file.  For example

touch mytestfile.txt

9. locate command

The locate command is also called as the find command. This command is used to find or locate a particular file. This command is one of the common Linux commands. If you don’t know the exact name of the file or the exact destination of the particular file then this command is very useful. The following command will locate the file which contains the words “result”, “final” “total”

locate -i *result*final**total*

10. clear command

As the name suggests, this command is used to clear the Linux window terminal. For using this command user just has to type clear and then press enter. This is the most used command in the Linux command line environment.


11. rm command

Just like rmdir which removes the directory, rm command is used to remove the particular file. Suppose you want to remove .txt file or a .doc file then rm command is useful. For example,

rm mytestfile.txt

12. mv command

The mv command is one of the most used commands in the Linux environment. This command enables a user to move a file to another directory. For example,

mv/myfolder/appli/myapps /myfolder/newapp/firstapp

13. curl command

The curl command is used to extract information from Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) or IP addresses. If it is not installed in your Linux environment then, first of all, you have to use apt-get command to install curl package.

curl https://github.com/torvalds/linux

14. echo command

The echo command is used to print the specified text on the terminal window. For example, if you want to print “Hello World” text on the terminal window then this command can be used.

echo Hello World

15. free command

The free command is used to generate information about memory usage. It calculates for both the main Random Access Memory (RAM) and swap memory. For example

free -h

16. groups command

The groups command is one of the most important commands of Linux environments. This command describes the membership of a particular user. In other words, it tells which user belongs to which particular group. For example,

groups scott

groups thomas

17. head command

The head command is used to display the first 10 lines of a particular file. If you want to read fewer lines then the extension -n can be used. For example,

head -myfile.c

18. history command

The history command is most frequently used and one of the most important Linux commands. This command displays the list of the previously used commands. For using this command you just have to enter history.


19. passwd command

The password command is one of the useful Linux commands which is used to change your own password. This command is often used by the administrator to change other users’ password also. For example

sudo passwd jeff

20. ping command

The ping command is the top command in the Linux environment. This command is always used to check the network connection or to troubleshoot networking issues. To use this command all you have to do is provide an IP address after ping. For example


The Linux commands list can be endless but we reserve more techniques for the next tutorial.



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