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Basic Commands for New Users

List the Contents of a Directory

To list the contents of a directory, open the terminal and type

ls

ls stands for list.

For more details, use

ls -l

-l stands for long.

To view all files, including hidden files use

ls -a

In Linux, hidden filenames start with a ”.”

You can combine -l and -a, like this

ls -al

Change Directory

To change to a directory within the one you are in, use

cd directory-name

To change to a directory in the directory in one you are in, use

cd directory-name/directory-name

To change to the root directory, use

cd /

To change to a directory in root, use

cd /directory-name

To change to the home directory, use

cd ~/

To change to a directory within the home directory, use

cd ~/directory-name

To change up to the directory containing the one you are in, use

cd ..

To change up two levels, use

cd ../..

Display the Contents of a File

To display the contents of a file, use

cat filename

This may be used to read text files.

As Root

To have root or administrator permissions, use

sudo

before commands.

For example, to display the contents of a file owned by root, use

sudo cat filename

Stop an Application

To stop an application, use

killall name-of-application
Print/export