Useful Linux Commands

There are a ton of commands out there to make you more efficient on the command line, but let's highlight some of the best right now!

Tab Autocomplete

I mentioned it before, but I need to mention it again. Hit the tab key to autocomplete words/paths/anything and save yourself time. Double tap it to get a listing of possible options.


We all know cd, but did you know about cd ~ which takes you to your home directory, and cd - which takes you back to the directory prior.

Do some morphing around your filesystem and use cd tricks to navigate. Check out what happens if you just type cd with no arguments.


You can look at your most recent command history using the command history, and combining that with grep you can pipe the two together to search your most recent commands. But even easier than that is typing ctrl-r, which kicks off a search in your history for you.

Line Navigation

If you have a super long command and don't want to arrow through the whole thing, you can use "home" and "end" keys on your keyboard. Even more efficiently than that though, you can ctrl-a and ctrl-e to zoom to the front and back.

Reuse Commands

Ran a command and forgot to use sudo? Use the "!!" operator to run the same command again, and sudo !!. If you want to run the most recent of a certain command, use the single "!" operator and the command name, such as !ls, which will run the most recently executed ls command. Much easier than pressing the up arrow until you find what you are looking for.

Kill Processes

If something is running, ctrl-c should do the trick if you are in the same window as it. If not, ctrl-x is a great standby. You'll learn more about killing processes in the next section.

New Terminal

In Ubuntu, ctrl-shift-t should pop open a new terminal for you to hack in. If you are already in a terminal, it should pop up a new tab. To switch between these, ctrl-pagedown or ctrl-pageup.

To open a new window, ctrl-shift-n should open a new terminal window.

With that said, these are very OS specific and might not be the same for you. If that is the case, google for your operating system terminal keyboard shortcuts.

Of course, there are so many of these and you can always add more, but this is enough to get the most bang for your (free) buck.

Last modified: Sunday, 20 June 2021, 12:33 AM