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Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

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My top terminal commands

I was recently watching a video that was walking beginners through terminal commands and they listed over 50 commands that you should use. 50!? Who uses more than 10 terminal commands?

The ones that I use (off the top of my head)

1) pwd

The command pwd stands for "print working directory" which gives your current location in terminal

2) cd directory

The command cd stands for "change directory" which allows you to navigate through the terminal.

3) ls

The command ls will list all the computer files in your current directory.

4) mkdir folder

The command mkdir will create a new folder in your current directory.

5) clear

The command clear will... you guessed it, clear your terminal.

6) 🐈 aka cat file

The command cat will return the contents of a file.
If you cat command a directory it will let you know that as well.

7) touch file

The command touch file will create a new file in your current directory.

8) rm file

The command rm file will remove the file from your current directory

There are some special options that you can pass into some of these commands but for now, the basics are all that is needed to be a hacker!

Some honorable mentions - these are commands that I use here and there.

  • mv - move files or rename files
  • sudo - "SuperUser Do", this enables admin/root permissions, only use this if you know what you are doing
  • grep - search for something in a file
  • ping - check your connectivity status to a server.
  • echo - used to move data into a file

Top comments (17)

vlasales profile image
Vlastimil Pospichal • Edited
  • vim - to edit anything
  • sed - to filter and update
  • awk - to manage table data
  • alias - to create own command acronyms
  • git - to version controll
  • find - to search files
  • make - to run tasks
  • xmllint, xsltproc, xqilla, xmlstarlet - to working with XML
  • jq - to working with JSON
  • php, python3, gcc, clisp, bc, octave ... compilers and interpreters
rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

vim, alias, & git are ones I use often as well. Can't say the same for the other two (awk & sed)

vlasales profile image
Vlastimil Pospichal

They are very useful for working with huge files.

hamzajd profile image
Hamza Jadid

history | grep "search text"

drhyde profile image
David Cantrell

In order from most- to least-used, the top 20 on one of my machines are ...

mutt, ps, ls, cd, ssh, vi, ping, find, host, grep, which, rm, cat, nslookup, man, history, whois, tree, touch, mount, ...

... and that's ignoring everything that's used from within any of my own scripts, and only counting the first command on a line, it ignores anything that might follow in a pipeline such as awk, sed, sort, uniq, tac, head, tail, cut, ...

... and that also ignores anything used in development (which I generally do on a different machine) such as git, cc, make, perl, python, go, ...

rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

Yeah if I introduce development commands then git would be the number 1 command that I use.

tanami profile image

no love for find? it's so powerful!

rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

I have honestly rarely/never used it 😂

wicked7000 profile image

Ive been making a lot of use out of these commands lately: (I'll admit they might not be a frequent use type of command but helpful to know)

ps -elf 

The first to check if prcoesses im expecting to run are running. Sometimes combined with a grep to search for a specific part of a command. And then top to see what kinda usage those processes are producing.

rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

👏 Don't use these often, but they do come in handy.

____marcell profile image
Marcell Cruz

Great article, my favorite

grep -ril 'search_string' ./folder

rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

One of my favorite commands lsof -nP -i4TCP | grep LISTEN to see what open connections I have.

pengeszikra profile image
Peter Vivo

history 0 | grep "..."

realabbas profile image
Ali Abbas

cd, clear, touch, ls, rm they are the most used

fairen profile image

Greate summary !
You could also use fasd to replace cd and use tail -f <some_file> when the file is too long for cat.

rembrandtreyes profile image
Rembrandt Reyes (He/Him)

Interesting command, thanks for the share!

akramnarejo profile image
Akram Narejo

it's very few bro but again it's good that u have shared.