What will we cover?
The purpose of this article is to help users who are new to Linux with some simple and universal commands. The commands outlined below provide a foundation knowledge to begin using and manipulating the command line interface. A Linux terminal can feel intimidating at first but by the end of this article you will have everything you need to create files, move directories and list files. Lets begin!
How do I make a file? Well, there are several text editors that you can use in a Linux terminal some of which include Vim, Vi and Nano. My favorite is Nano, its simple and user friendly. Most Linux distributions come with Nano installed by default but its possible that yours doesn’t, to fix that simply type one of the commands below depending on your distribution.
sudo apt-get install nano
yum install nano
Great! now that’s installed we can start to make some files. Try typing “
nano FirstFile.txt” this should take you into the Nano text editor where you can start typing. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move up and down the lines, remember your mouse wont work!
When you all done typing its time to save that file, to do that we can simply push control “Ctrl” and “X” at the same time to write out and close the file. Before the file closes it will ask you to confirm changes to the file to make sure you don’t overwrite anything important.
Want to get back into that file? just type “
nano FirstFile.txt” again and it will take you straight back in! Now its time to get advanced, Nano isn’t just any old text editor its great for programming. You can type all sorts of programming languages into the editor and it will automatically detect and highlight key words attributed to the language your writing in!
Need more information on nano? Visit the man page Nano man page
Next is possibly one of the most basic and fundamental commands that we Linux users have at our disposal. “cd” stands for Change Directory and is the primary method for navigating the complex directory structure that is Linux.
The usage for the command is very simple, you simply have to type
cd /any/directoy/you/want for example “cd /var/www” The top level of the directory structure is root which is represented as “/”. Whenever you want to navigate the directory structure it is a good idea to list out the entire path starting with root and working downwards. One very helpful piece of advice is to use “tab” as you are typing pressing the tab key will autocomplete the next word based off the partial word that you have already typed.
Need more information on cd? Visit the man page cd man page