Learning Linux Commands

Over the next few sections you will be learning the basic commands required to operate from the terminal in Linux.

It is important to remember that there is no need to memorize... anything, at all, in this entire field, because you can always just have a series of cheat sheets and notes available to you.

But the basics, like command line and text editing, will be used over and over again. In a best case scenario, you are now using Linux for everything and are getting a fully immersed experience. If you use the command line for everything it makes it so you don't even have to think about it eventually.

The first resource you will always have on this journey, no matter what system, whether you have internet access, whatever, is man pages. We already discussed those a bit, but if you want to learn how to use a command, you can figure it out because you have access to the man pages.

Something that is faster than looking it up in the man pages is to looking up longer commands on a cheatsheet. There is no expectation to remember every command and incantation, and there certainly isn't an expectation you build things from scratch every time. Not to mention, there are awesome cheatsheets out there. Also, you can make your own if you wind up doing specialized tasks often. I recommend you print one out now likethisone and put it on your desk or tape it to the wall near you. If you don't have a printer or want to save ink, just save it to your desktop. When you find things you want to remember, write it on a separate piece of paper or in a text file on your desktop so you can consult it later.

Another great resource is https://explainshell.com/. We can type commands into them, with all the associated flags, and we will get a human readable explanation of what is going on.

I'd say, when I am doing stuff on the command line, about 50% of the time the commands are common enough for me to do off the top of my head. 20% of the time I use a cheatsheet I have nearby. 20% of the time I google the command I am trying to use and try to figure out the usage and flags required. <1% of the time I will use local man pages to figure it out.

Finally, if I don't know the command, ~10% of the time I google "how do I do ____ from linux command line".

So yeah, don't worry about memorizing anything now, but know that anything in the next few chapters you will want to memorize at some point. I recommend running through some of the little study guides linked at the bottom of the course to really drive it home.

Last modified: Saturday, 19 June 2021, 12:40 PM