A Beginner's Guide to the Linux Command Line


Posts: 740   +173
Lots of good info. I would note that Ubuntu lets you use a number of common basic DOS commands like "DIR" for a directory.

The Linux directory command "LS" stands for "List Short". For additional details about your files, there's also "LL", which stands for "List Long".

"Cat" to display text files is a holdover from the old "Cat" (Catalog) command for displaying help for different commands. Most distributions still have those text files, so "Cat LL" will show you how to use the "LL" command by displaying the text file describing it. Displaying other ordinary text files using "cat" works, but was not what it was intended for.


Posts: 1,097   +1,013
Tip: To write anything into a newly created file, use a command line editor like Vi or Vim.

I would suggest beginners to use "nano" instead. Simple and easier to use.


Posts: 1,097   +1,013
The command line is one of the most powerful aspects of Linux. The terminal is the core.

Those who didn't grow up with DOS, afraid to use it or simply spoilt by Windows will of course, stay away from Linux command line too (or even from Linux itself too).

Yes, the instructions reminded me of the user-friendly guide printed by our home PC dealer who gave us the neatly compiled bunch of papers filled with dot matrix printed lines with all the basic functions of DOS for the first PC XT clone we got.