Index of Linux Commands

alias:   allows launching of any command or combination of commands by using a preset character or series of characters.

apropos:   displays a list of all topics in the built-in user manual that are related to the subject of a query.

bzip2:   used for compressing and decompressing files.

cat:   (short for concatenate) has three related functions with regard to text files: displaying them, combining copies of them and creating new ones.

cd:   changes directories.

clear:   removes all previous commands and output from consoles and terminal windows.

cp:   copies files and directories.

df:   reports the amount of space used and available on currently mounted filesystems.

dmesg:   reads the kernel messages.

du:   shows the sizes of directories and files.

fdformat:   performs low-level formatting of floppy disks.

file:   classifies filesystem objects.

free:   provides information about unused and used memory and swap space.

grep:   searches text.

head:   by default reads the first ten lines of text.

hostname:   shows or sets a computer's host name and domain name.

kdesu:   opens KDE su, the graphical front end for the su command.

kill:   terminates stalled processes without having to log out or reboot.

killall:   terminates all processes associated with programs whose names are provided to it as arguments.

locate:   finds files and directories.

man:   formats and displays the built-in manual pages.

mkbootdisk:   creates an emergency boot floppy.

mkdir:   creates new directories.

mkfs:   creates a filesystem on a disk or on a partition thereof.

mv:   renames and moves files and directories.

ps:   (short for process status) lists the currently running processes and their process identification numbers (PIDs).

pstree:   displays the processes on the system in the form of a tree diagram.

pwd:   (short for present working directory) displays the full path to the current directory.

reboot:   restarts a computer without having to turn the power off and back on.

rm:   deletes the specified files and directories.

rmdir:   deletes the specified empty directories.

runlevel:   reports the current and previous runlevels.

shred:   destroys files.

spell:   checks spelling.

strings:   returns each string of printable characters in files.

su:   (short for substitute user) changes a login session's owner without the owner having to first log out of that session.

tail:   by default reads the final ten lines of text.

tar:   converts a group of files into an archive.

touch:   the easiest way to create new, empty files.

tr:   translates or deletes characters.

unalias:   removes entries from the current user's list of aliases.

uname:   provides basic information about a system's software and hardware.

uptime:   shows the current time, how long the system has been running since it was booted up, how many user sessions are currently open and the load averages.

w:   shows who is logged into the system and what they are doing.

wc:   by default counts the number of lines, words and characters that are contained in text.

whatis:   provides very brief descriptions of command line programs and other topics related to Unix-like operating systems.

whereis:   locates the binary, source code and man page for any specified program.

whoami:   returns the user name of the owner of the current login session.

The above commands are those that are described in detail by The Linux Information Project. They represent only a fraction of the total number of standard commands typically included in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. In keeping with the Unix philosophy, most are small, independent, and highly specialized programs.

Created May 28, 2005. Last updated December 19, 2006.
Copyright © 2005 - 2006 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.