I want to know if any references out there I can follow-up in everything that's going on in GNOME-Terminal I'm studying to be a web developer and I'm going to be making the jump to Web Administer I want to invest the time to learn most of what the command lines by heart. I'm currently using Ubuntu to start off, I have been using Linux since January so for that I don't know what I'm doing with Ubuntu. Just minor commands I know.

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    I upvoted this question because there really is a serious issue with learning and remembering the most useful and common Linux command line patterns. Many programmers who are only occasional command line users waste time re-learning commands. Many sys admins waste time helping users with simple commands. Many users are less productive than they could be because they don't have a mechanism for finding and saving the most usefull command lines. This is a usability issue, a cognitive issue and a pedagogical issue. – Jonathan Ben-Avraham May 26 '13 at 3:21
  • I hope its no trouble for me in learning on it, I'm trying to learn it for a job opportunity that I'm shooting for by next month. – LeonLaGrey May 26 '13 at 5:12
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    Linux and Bash are huge subjects. It's like learning a foreign language. If you only have a month, then concentrate on learning the most common commands very thoroughly. Choose something like 30 commands and learn one each day. In addition to commands, you also need to know how to do common tasks such as using tar to do backups. Try searching for "Bash tutorial". – Jonathan Ben-Avraham May 26 '13 at 5:20
  • I'm working hard on the subject, My job requires me to know Web designs and Web Development, I'll sure be doing that daily studying my butt off on it, Thanks for taking the time for dropping the links below, Bash is really familiar but still got a lot of catching up. – LeonLaGrey May 26 '13 at 5:28

This is probably going to be your best bet.



In addition to David Custer's excellent answer, I advise you to do an Internet search for the terms "Linux cheat sheet" and "Bash cheat sheet". A cheat sheet is the best mechanism for learning and recalling material that has a very large number of details. Think of it as a language phrase book.

Your Internet search will turn up many useful cheat sheets that have been published for Bash and for specific Linux utilities. There are even some cheet sheet reviews such as this Nixcraft site of the "top ten" cheet sheets and tutorials.

Most important of all though, is to develop your own mechanism for authoring your own cheat sheets that are geared to the type of Linux usage that you and your users do. You can do this using a spreadsheet program to make a table of commands with columns for sorting by type of command and a column for ranking the commands by most commonly forgotten, then sort the table by type and ranking or ranking and type. You can also set up a cheat sheet using a wiki such as MediaWiki or DocuWiki.

You will probably need different cheat sheets for different types of users. As a sys admin, you can save yourself a lot of time by providing your users with good cheat sheets. Since you are coming from a Web authoring background, you should be able to put up a good web page for yourself and others with your own cheat sheets. Providing this material in a useful format can also enhance your standing in an organization.


First of all, remember that the system itself can help you. By typing man <command>, info <command> and <command> -h or <command> --help you can get all relevant information on the use of that particular command.

Anyway, they suppose that you already know which command you want to use, and just provide help on how to use them. For learning, I found some books about the subject to be very useful.

  • Barett, Daniel J. - Linux Pocket Guide. Aimed at beginners, it covers the basic commands and is a useful reference also when you have learned them. Structured more or less like a command dictionary, it's somewhat essential but with its low price is a bargain.
  • Shotts, William E. - The Linux Command Line. A Complete Introduction. More detailed than the previous, it goes deeply in the usage of commands. A free PDF is available from the author's website.
  • Blum, Richard and Bresnahan, Christine - Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible. A huge book that covers in detail many commands and as you can guess from the title, also teaches how to use them together to create scripts.
  • I have checked it all of it, I'll be sure to purchase those books before the sell is over, Thanks a lot @Sekhernty I know the last bullet you mention it'll sure come in handy. – LeonLaGrey May 26 '13 at 14:34
  • @sekhemty: you should have mentioned man -k (or apropos), which, to some extent, overcomes the problem of not knowing what you're looking for, e.g. not knowing there's a paste command it will show up if you apropos column. – tink May 26 '13 at 17:20
  • I didn't know about that acutully I'm going to try that I thought it was control-V the first time I try GNOME – LeonLaGrey May 26 '13 at 19:27

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