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Index of Linux Commands

These represent only a fraction of the total number of standard commands typically included in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

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.