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I roamed around these forums and look for answers to questions before asking them myself. For example, Skype and how it appears to be online but really it isn't. As I was reading this particular thread I found my self in a lot of talk about what to type into the terminal so it would work. Now as a total newbie when it comes to Linux I want to play it safe and not just copy and paste said solutions into the terminal for a couple of reasons, firstly because I don't know what they mean and lastly because if I do just copy and paste I could be leaving myself open to attacks. Yes, I know Linux is safe, but as I said I am a nub to these things. Which leads to my question:

What do I need to read, learn, and understand when it comes to Ubuntu's Terminal and what sort of programming languages should I grasp, basic wise, so I don't find myself opening Pandora's box?

Appreciate the help in advance.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Whaaaaaat, Mateo, RobotHumans, Lucio, guntbert Nov 7 '14 at 21:33

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Nevermind, thanks though. The answer presented itself just now. Reference, but if you think there is something else better please, do post a response. Thanks – Trax Aug 6 '12 at 5:38
I gave a detailed answer here about command line reference material and useful books:… – user76204 Aug 6 '12 at 17:43
When it comes to shell scripting, I think there are only three fundamental commands: man, help and type. With these three you can learn anything you want. – Andrea Corbellini Jan 28 '13 at 17:05

No, Linux is not safe if you copy and paste commands you don't understand. You're very wise to avoid that. It is the same as running just any program you download.

It isn't necessary to learn a programming language however, though you may want to have a look at a Bash Guide. (There are many of them) There are a few simple concepts you need to understand, but it's mostly about connecting commands together. Looking up what a command does is very easy. You can use the man command in your terminal by entering something like man firefox or man cp. This will display a manual page for that command or program. You can also use Firefox to open a manual page by entering man:cp. In other words, it's the same as using the man command in the terminal.

The most important command is man. When in doubt, look it up.

To understand how commands are "connected" using >, >>, |, etc, you can search for "Linux Command Line Guide" or something on Google. It's been a while since I've read one, so I don't know which is best, but I had a brief look and this one looks good:

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You want to learn the bash shell language and at the same time get to know the what-where of the Linux filesystem. One good source is

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You shouldn't need to learn a programming language, but learning bash, and bash scripting, will be very useful.

If you're not the type to read a big manual or long tutorial, you can learn as you go along, by asking what specific commands do whenever you spot them on guides online. Ask about them here, or on IRC, or in the Ubuntu Forums.

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