Introduction

Linux commands may seem intimidating at first glance if you are not used to using the terminal. There are many commands for performing operations and processes on your Linux system.

No matter whether you are new to Linux or an experienced user, having a list of common commands close at hand is helpful.

In this tutorial, you will find commonly used Linux commands as well as a downloadable cheat sheet with syntax and examples.

list of common Linux commands with a downloadable cheat sheet


Important: Depending on your system setup, some of the commands below may require invoking sudo to be executed.


Linux Commands Cheat Sheet PDF

If you prefer having all the commands on a one-page reference sheet, we created a helpful Linux command line cheat sheet. You can save the list of linux commands in PDF format by clicking the Download Linux Cheat Sheet button below.

DOWNLOAD Linux Cheat Sheet

A list of all Linux commands commonly used with Linux operating systems.

Linux Commands List

The commands found in the downloadable cheat sheet are listed below.

Hardware Information

Show bootup messages:

dmesg

See CPU information:

cat /proc/cpuinfo

Display free and used memory with:

free -h

List hardware configuration information:

lshw

See information about block devices:

lsblk

Show PCI devices in a tree-like diagram:

lspci -tv

Display USB devices in a tree-like diagram:

lsusb -tv

Show hardware information from the BIOS:

dmidecode

Display disk data information:

hdparm -i /dev/disk

Conduct a read-speed test on device/disk:

hdparm -tT /dev/[device]

Test for unreadable blocks on device/disk:

badblocks -s /dev/[device]

Searching

Search for a specific pattern in a file with:

grep [pattern] [file_name]

Recursively search for a pattern in a directory:

grep -r [pattern] [directory_name]

Find all files and directories related to a particular name:

locate [name]

List names that begin with a specified character [a] in a specified location [/folder/location] by using the find command:

find [/folder/location] -name [a]

See files larger than a specified size [+100M] in a folder:

find [/folder/location] -size [+100M]

File Commands

List files in the directory:

ls

List all files (shows hidden files):

ls -a

Show directory you are currently working in:

pwd

Create a new directory:

mkdir [directory]

Remove a file:

rm [file_name] 

Remove a directory recursively:

rm -r [directory_name]

Recursively remove a directory without requiring confirmation:

rm -rf [directory_name]

Copy the contents of one file to another file:

cp [file_name1] [file_name2]

Recursively copy the contents of one file to a second file:

cp -r [directory_name1] [directory_name2]

Rename [file_name1] to [file_name2] with the command:

mv [file_name1] [file_name2]

Create a symbolic link to a file:

ln -s /path/to/[file_name] [link_name]

Create a new file:

touch [file_name]

Show the contents of a file:

more [file_name]

Display the first 10 lines of a file with:

head [file_name]

Show the last 10 lines of a file:

tail [file_name]

Encrypt a file:

gpg -c [file_name]

Decrypt a file:

gpg [file_name.gpg]

Show the number of words, lines, and bytes in a file:

wc

Note: Want to read more about file creation? Check out an article about how to create a file in Linux using the command line.


Directory Navigation

Move up one level in the directory tree structure:

cd ..

Change directory to $HOME:

cd

Change location to a specified directory:

cd /chosen/directory

File Compression

Archive an existing file:

tar cf [compressed_file.tar] [file_name]

Extract an archived file:

tar xf [compressed_file.tar]

Create a gzip compressed tar file by running:

tar czf [compressed_file.tar.gz]

Compress a file with the .gz extension:

gzip [file_name]

File Transfer

Copy a file to a server directory securely:

scp [file_name.txt] [server/tmp]

Synchronize the contents of a directory with a backup directory using the rsync command:

rsync -a [/your/directory] [/backup/] 

Users

See details about the active users:

id

Show last system logins:

last

Display who is currently logged into the system with the command:

who

Show which users are logged in and their activity:

w

Add a new group by typing:

groupadd [group_name]

Add a new user:

adduser [user_name]

Add a user to a group:

usermod -aG [group_name] [user_name]

Delete a user:

userdel [user_name] 

Modify user information with:

usermod

Note: If you want to learn more about users and groups, take a look at our article on how to add a user to a group in Linux.


Package Installation

List all installed packages with yum:

yum list installed

Find a package by a related keyword:

yum search [keyword]

Show package information and summary:

yum info [package_name]

Install a package using the YUM package manager:

yum install [package_name.rpm]

Install a package using the DNF package manager:

dnf install [package_name.rpm]

Install a package using the APT package manager:

apt-get install [package_name]

Install an .rpm package from a local file:

rpm -i  [package_name.rpm]

Remove an .rpm package:

rpm -e [package_name.rpm]

Install software from source code:

tar zxvf [source_code.tar.gz]
cd [source_code]
./configure
make
make install

Process Related

See a snapshot of active processes:

ps

Show processes in a tree-like diagram:

pstree

Display a memory usage map of processes:

pmap

See all running processes:

top

Terminate a Linux process under a given ID:

kill [process_id]

Terminate a process under a specific name:

pkill [proc_name]

Terminate all processes labelled “proc”:

killall [proc_name]

List and resume stopped jobs in the background:

bg

Bring the most recently suspended job to the foreground:

fg

Bring a particular job to the foreground:

fg [job]

List files opened by running processes:

lsof

System Information

Show system information:

uname -r 

See kernel release information:

uname -a  

Display how long the system has been running, including load average:

uptime 

See system hostname:

hostname

Show the IP address of the system:

hostname -i 

List system reboot history:

last reboot 

See current time and date:

date

Query and change the system clock with:

timedatectl 

Show current calendar (month and day):

cal

List logged in users:

w

See which user you are using:

whoami

Show information about a particular user:

finger [username]

Disk Usage

You can use the df and du commands to check disk space in Linux.

See free and used space on mounted systems:

df -h

Show free inodes on mounted filesystems:

df -i

Display disk partitions, sizes, and types with the command:

fdisk -l

See disk usage for all files and directory:

du -ah

Show disk usage of the directory you are currently in:

du -sh

Display target mount point for all filesystem:

findmnt

Mount a device:

mount [device_path] [mount_point]

SSH Login

Connect to host as user:

ssh user@host

Securely connect to host via SSH default port 22:

ssh host

Connect to host using a particular port:

ssh -p [port] user@host

Connect to host via telnet default port 23:

telnet host

Note: For a detailed explanation of SSH Linux Commands, refer to our 19 Common SSH Commands in Linux tutorial.


File Permission

Chown command in Linux changes file and directory ownership.

Assign read, write, and execute permission to everyone:

chmod 777 [file_name]

Give read, write, and execute permission to owner, and read and execute permission to group and others:

chmod 755 [file_name]

Assign full permission to owner, and read and write permission to group and others:

chmod 766 [file_name]

Change the ownership of a file:

chown [user] [file_name]

Change the owner and group ownership of a file:

chown [user]:[group] [file_name]

Note: To learn more about how to check and change permissions, refer to our Linux File Permission Tutorial.


Network

List IP addresses and network interfaces:

ip addr show

Assign an IP address to interface eth0:

ip address add [IP_address]

Display IP addresses of all network interfaces with:

ifconfig

See active (listening) ports:

netstat -pnltu

Show tcp and udp ports and their programs:

netstat -nutlp

Display more information about a domain:

whois [domain]

Show DNS information about a domain:

dig [domain] 

Do a reverse lookup on domain:

dig -x host

Do reverse lookup of an IP address:

dig -x [ip_address]

Perform an IP lookup for a domain:

host [domain]

Show the local IP address:

hostname -I

Download a file from a domain using the wget command:

wget [file_name]

Linux Keyboard Shortcuts

Kill process running in the terminal:

Ctrl + C

Stop current process:

Ctrl + Z

The process can be resumed in the foreground with fg or in the background with bg.

Cut one word before the cursor and add it to clipboard:

Ctrl + W

Cut part of the line before the cursor and add it to clipboard:

Ctrl + U

Cut part of the line after the cursor and add it to clipboard:

Ctrl + K

Paste from clipboard:

Ctrl + Y

Recall last command that matches the provided characters:

Ctrl + R

Run the previously recalled command:

Ctrl + O

Exit command history without running a command:

Ctrl + G

Run the last command again:

!!

Log out of current session:

exit

Conclusion

The more you use Linux commands, the better you will get at remembering them. Do not stress about memorizing their syntax; use our cheat sheet.

Whenever in doubt, refer to this helpful guide for the most common Linux commands.


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