Introduction to Basic Linux

This page describes basic Linux commands for using in Clark and Lewis clusters. This is the topic for our "Intro to Basic Linux" training.

  • Training presentation (pdf)
  • Related training video

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Course Content

  • SSH
  • Command prompt
    • tab completion
    • wildcard
    • options (flags)
  • Directory navigation
    • ~/cd
    • ls/pwd
    • mkdir
    • tree
    • file permissions
  • File transfer
    • wget
    • scp/rsync
    • tar/unzip
  • File manipulation
    • more/less
    • head/tail
    • wc
    • grep
    • cp/mv/rm
    • touch
  • Pipes and filters
  • Editors
    • emacs/nano
    • vim
      • i/esc/enter
      • :w/:wq/:q
  • Shell script
  • Manual commands
  • History
  • Exit

Basic Linux Commands

Basic Commands

Command Description
--help Used with a command to get info on syntax/options. Ex: ls --help
man Gives access to the 'man pages' or 'manual pages'. Ex: man ls
whoami Prints who the user is
date Outputs the date according to the system
hostname Outputs the host name of the system
pwd Prints the full path name of the file or directory
up arrow Hitting the up arrow on your keyboard will display the last run command
history Outputs all previously used commands
tab complete To complete a command without typing the full command hit tab
control+c To kill the foreground process hit control+c


Command Description
cat Used to make files, redirect files, and to read the contents of a file
ls Used to list files and directories
cp Used to copy
mv Used to move files
rm Used to remove files
mkdir Used to make new directories
vim The Vim text editor
less Used to paginate text. Ex: less job_output.txt
touch Creates new empty files
chmod Used to change file permissions
chown Used to change the owner of a file or directory

Terminal concepts

Command Description
stdout Standard output
stderr Standard error
> Standard redirect
>> Standard append
2>&1 Redirects standard error to standard output
| Allows the first command output to go into the second command
grep Searches files based on a work or string

What Is Next

More Resources