TechSpot: A Beginner's Guide to the Linux Command Line

Do you think of the command line as an antiquated leftover from the past, or an old fashioned way of interacting with a computer? Think again. In Linux, it is the most flexible and powerful way to perform tasks. For example, searching for all .tmp files in a directory (and its sub-directories) and then deleting them can be a multi step process when done via graphical user interface, but is a matter of few seconds when done through the command line.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of the Linux command line including directory navigation, file/directory operations, and more.

Read: A Beginner's Guide to the Linux Command Line
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16 Comments

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> Do you think of the command line as an antiquated leftover from the past, or an old fashioned way of interacting with a computer?

No I don't.

Even Microsoft is more committed now to PowerShell than ever before. And Server Core (introduced with Server 2008) is *all* command-line driven.

The command line is not going away.

Yep, and they've pushed it even farther by allowing you to switch between the gui and core versions in 2012.

A good part of the MCSA: Server 2012 is powershell, or so they say.

Honestly, once you get used to it, it's super easy to use, and the power of it is unmatched, even by the GUI.

Brilliant guide.

I switched from Windows about a month back and the autocomplete feature is new to me and will come in handy thanks to this guide. Can't wait for the next installment.

Very true.. Infact dont we use Linux more than other stuff, like when accessing website which runs on Linux server (most of web is in linux) or my home router, which runs a linux firmware.. Or even android, isn't that linux too ??

Choto Cheeta said,
Now a days, dont even find the simplest urge to try out linux !!! Hype seems to have dies..

Oddly enough, I'm finding fewer reasons to not use Linux. With XP support ending, I needed to find a new OS for my older XP 64bit machine. Why pay for a new OS that doesn't support half the devices in it anyway, when Linux is free and runs well. Between Chrome and Wine it can do pretty much anything XP could do.

The main thing I keep a windows box for now is games... most games on Steam that I want are still windows only.

Disclaimer: of course I'm not the norm as I work on Linux/Unix/VMware boxes at work so I'm not the target audience for this guide anyway...

Glad to see autocomplete and searching have been included - makes navigation so much faster. Every computing enthusiast should get an understanding of the commands presented (as they're now applicable to all OSs, including Windows).

You may be wondering 'why not use the mouse'? Because there will be times when you have to automate tasks, and CLI is the best way.

Edited by 68k, Jun 19 2014, 7:24am :

The CLI was swapped in favour of the GUI. With a GUI though your limited to what is presented to you. With a CLI it's much more dynamic allowing for some powerful commands. Microsoft have even jumped on this with their addition of PowerShell. Obviously a CLI is not as user friendly so naturally guides like this exist.
This guide is very well written. Cheers for the notice Neowin.

Edited by ]SK[, Jun 19 2014, 7:29am :