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I am new to Linux and only know my way around because of the GUI. Is there a way to see the equivalent commands on the terminal to do the same things as using the GUI? Thanks

marked as duplicate by muru command-line Jan 16 '18 at 8:22

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Probably not, because a GUI most of the time isn't calling the same command as a user would type in the terminal.

That said, if you want to know more about terminal commands, these are some usefull sites which explain common commands:

General use

Some common commands

A more advanced list


I know this is a few years late but was cited as an answer to a similar question (making both answers wrong). While this answer more correctly answers the other question, I couldn't find where to respond.

You can find out by using strace. Run the GUI or command line software or command from the terminal preceded by strace e.g.

strace gedit


strace ls

Quoting from man strace:

In the simplest case strace runs the specified command until it exits. It intercepts and records the system calls which are called by a process and the signals which are received by a process. The name of each system call, its arguments and its return value are printed on standard error or to the file specified with the -o option.

strace is a useful diagnostic, instructional, and debugging tool. System administrators, diagnosticians and trouble-shooters will find it invaluable for solving problems with programs for which the source is not readily available since they do not need to be recompiled in order to trace them. Students, hackers and the overly-curious will find that a great deal can be learned about a system and its system calls by tracing even ordinary programs. And programmers will find that since system calls and signals are events that happen at the user/kernel interface, a close examination of this boundary is very useful for bug isolation, sanity checking and attempting to capture race conditions.

Each line in the trace contains the system call name, followed by its arguments in parentheses and its return value. An example from stracing the command cat /dev/null is:

  open("/dev/null", O_RDONLY) = 3
  • 1
    strace is interesting, but it doesn't show equivalent commands, it "records the system calls" which are not the same thing. – Martin Thornton Sep 23 '16 at 9:48

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