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12 essential Linux commands for newbies

Basic commands for interacting with files

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1. Display a list of files with ls

The ls command displays the names of the files and directories in the current working directory. A number of options are available that allow you to specify what details about the files should be shown.

2. Change directory with cd

If you want to change the current working directory you would use the command cd. For example cd correspondence would set the current working directory to correspondence, if it exits.

3. Copy a file with cp

The cp command allows you copy a file and give the copy a new name. It is always a good idea to make a copy of a file before you change it in case you want to go back the previous version.

4. Change a file name with mv

The mv command allows you to change the name of a file or move it to another directory or both. Files and whole directories can easily be moved even if they have a lot of content, since it requires only changing how things are linked to each other.

5. Create a new directory with mkdir

The mkdir command creates a new directory. Directories can be nested and are useful to organize large sets of files.

6. Delete a directory with rmdir

7. List the content of a file with more

8. Locate files you are looking for with find

9. Learn more about a command with man

10. Edit the contents of a file with emacs

11. Change your password with passwd

After you type passwd at the command prompt, it will ask you for your current password and the new one.

12. End your session with exit

The exit command will get you out of the current shell or session.
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