I am a newbie to the world of Linux/Ubuntu. I have heard the commands like sudo, apt-get and many other commands from my colleagues. As a beginner, what are all the commands I should be aware of? Can anyone please help.

closed as too broad by Videonauth, jokerdino Jun 14 '16 at 12:19

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    Hi and welcome to AskUbuntu. As operating systems cover complex scenarios it's hard to give you a list of all commands you might need. Right now we don't know what you plan to do and what your working field are, so it might be best to ask for specific problems if you have them. It is similar to learning foreign languages - you usually don't manage that with one attempt. – dufte Jun 14 '16 at 11:48
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    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! This is sadly not how this site works, if you want an discussion you might have a look into ubuntuforums.org. For a question and answer site your question is simply to broad and/or generates only opinion based answers. – Videonauth Jun 14 '16 at 11:58

Your question is very general.

There are thousands of commands available to do various jobs. Most users start to learn specifically about the commands when they have some purpose.

This page from Ubuntu Documentation has details about the Ubuntu terminal and in the bottom there are links to many sites which gives details about the commands. You can refer to them.

  • A very general list of basic commands is here.

  • A very authoritative book { The Linux Command Line: William Shotts } is here . Pdf available. This site itself is full of useful resources. Explore !

Important : Usually each command has a manual (man) page which gives the syntax and other details. You can refer to these man pages when in doubt about a command. Just Google the command with 'manpage' and you will surely get relevant result.


There are several nice commands cheat sheets, for example https://www.git-tower.com/blog/command-line-cheat-sheet/

One serious warning. Never, never under any circumstances (except FBI is trying to take your PC) execute sudo rm -rf /. Never. It will delete whole root filesystem and all your files.

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    Its best not to mention said command to not give users the funny thought to try it . – Videonauth Jun 14 '16 at 11:53
  • But somebody elsewhere eventually will, so I think it's better to have them prepared – Michal Polovka Jun 14 '16 at 11:53

There are many complicated command line possibilities, most of them I search online when I need to get something done.

It can be useful to save complicated commands in a bash-script-file, like mycommand.sh, for later easy use.

One useful command is: gnome-desktop-item-edit Desktop --create-new

This will create a new shortcut on your desktop.

What I have found very useful, is the command below, it will remove all the old Kernels and Modules belonging to them, and free up space on your Harddisk, in some cases you need to reinstall your graphics driver, when it is a proprietary driver, check after purging all the old Kernels if your driver is still installed, in "Additional Drivers" (It pops up with me in the results by just typing "dr").

sudo apt-get remove --purge $(dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d')

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