Linux Bash Commands: A-Z (Beginner’s Cheat Sheet)

Bash or Bourne Again SHell is a Unix shell or main command-line interface and the command language was written by Brian Fox released in 1989. Bash command line typically runs in a text window, where the user types commands that cause actions. Bash can also read commands from a file, called a script. It has been distributed widely as the shell for the GNU operating system and as a default shell on Linux and OS X.

Also recently Microsoft announced during the 2016 Build Conference that Windows 10 has added a Linux subsystem that fully supports Bash and other Ubuntu binaries running natively in Windows.

Features of Bash

Like the other GNU projects, the bash initiative was started to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify and redistribute software. It is generally known that such conditions stimulate creativity. This was also the case with the bash program, which has a lot of extra features that other shells can’t offer.

Bash command provides the following features:

  • Input/output redirection
  • Wildcard characters (metacharacters) for filename abbreviation
  • Shell variables for customizing your environment
  • Powerful programming capabilities
  • Command-line editing (using vi- or Emacs-style editing commands)
  • Access to previous commands (command history)
  • Integer arithmetic
  • Arithmetic expressions
  • Command name abbreviation (aliasing)
  • Job control
  • Integrated programming features
  • Control structures
  • Directory stacking (using pushd and popd)
  • Brace/tilde expansion
  • Key bindings

In this article we are going to list A-Z Bash command line for Linux (and also included bas command PDF file) or we can say list of Linux commands. I think the below bash command line table will be helpful in your Linux journey.

A-Z Bash Command Line

Bash Command LineFunction
 alias Create an alias
 apropos Search Help manual pages (man -k)
 apt-get Search for and install software packages (Debian/Ubuntu)
 aptitude Search for and install software packages (Debian/Ubuntu)
 aspell Spell Checker
 awk Find and Replace text, database sort/validate/index
 basename Strip directory and suffix from filenames
 bash GNU Bourne-Again SHell
 bc Arbitrary precision calculator language
 bg Send to background
 break Exit from a loop
 builtin Run a shell builtin
 bzip2 Compress or decompress named file(s)
 cal Display a calendar
 case Conditionally perform a command
 cat Concatenate and print (display) the content of files
 cd Change Directory
 cfdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
 chgrp Change group ownership
 chmod Change access permissions
 chown Change file owner and group
 chroot Run a command with a different root directory
 chkconfig System services (runlevel)
 cksum Print CRC checksum and byte counts
 clear Clear terminal screen
 cmp Compare two files
 comm Compare two sorted files line by line
 command Run a command – ignoring shell functions
 continue Resume the next iteration of a loop
 cp Copy one or more files to another location
 cron Daemon to execute scheduled commands
 crontab Schedule a command to run at a later time
 csplit Split a file into context-determined pieces
 curl Transfer data from or to a server
 cut Divide a file into several parts
 date Display or change the date & time
 dc Desk Calculator
 dd Convert and copy a file, write disk headers, boot records
 ddrescue Data recovery tool
 declare Declare variables and give them attributes
 df Display free disk space
 diff Display the differences between two files
 diff3 Show differences among three files
 dig DNS lookup
 dir Briefly list directory contents
 dircolors Colour setup for `ls’
 dirname Convert a full pathname to just a path
 dirs Display list of remembered directories
 dmesg Print kernel & driver messages
 du Estimate file space usage
 echo Display message on screen
 egrep Search file(s) for lines that match an extended expression
 eject Eject removable media
 enable Enable and disable builtin shell commands
 env Environment variables
 ethtool Ethernet card settings
 eval Evaluate several commands/arguments
 exec Execute a command
 exit Exit the shell
 expect Automate arbitrary applications accessed over a terminal
 expand Convert tabs to spaces
 export Set an environment variable
 expr Evaluate expressions
 false Do nothing, unsuccessfully
 fdformat Low-level format a floppy disk
 fdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
 fg Send job to foreground
 fgrep Search file(s) for lines that match a fixed string
 file Determine file type
 find Search for files that meet a desired criteria
 fmt Reformat paragraph text
 fold Wrap text to fit a specified width
 for Expand words, and execute commands
 format Format disks or tapes
 free Display memory usage
 fsck File system consistency check and repair
 ftp File Transfer Protocol
 function Define Function Macros
 fuser Identify/kill the process that is accessing a file
 gawk Find and Replace text within file(s)
 getopts Parse positional parameters
 grep Search file(s) for lines that match a given pattern
 groupadd Add a user security group
 groupdel Delete a group
 groupmod Modify a group
 groups Print group names a user is in
 gzip Compress or decompress named file(s)
 hash Remember the full pathname of a name argument
 head Output the first part of file(s)
 help Display help for a built-in command
 history Command History
 hostname Print or set system name
 htop Interactive process viewer
 iconv Convert the character set of a file
 id Print user and group id’s
 if Conditionally perform a command
 ifconfig Configure a network interface
 ifdown Stop a network interface
 ifup Start a network interface up
 import Capture an X server screen and save the image to file
install Copy files and set attributes
 ip Routing, devices and tunnels
 jobs List active jobs
 join Join lines on a common field
 kill Kill a process by specifying its PID
 killall Kill processes by name
 less Display output one screen at a time
 let Perform arithmetic on shell variables
 link Create a link to a file
 ln Create a symbolic link to a file
 local Create variables
 locate Find files
 logname Print current login name
 logout Exit a login shell
 look Display lines beginning with a given string
 lpc Line printer control program
 lpr Off line print
 lprint Print a file
 lprintd Abort a print job
 lprintq List the print queue
 lprm Remove jobs from the print queue
 ls List information about file(s)
 lsof List open files
 makeRecompile a group of programs
 manHelp manual
 mkdirCreate new folder(s)
 mkfifoMake FIFOs (named pipes)
 mkisofsCreate an hybrid ISO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem
 mknodMake block or character special files
 moreDisplay output one screen at a time
 mostBrowse or page through a text file
 mountMount a file system
 mtoolsManipulate MS-DOS files
 mtrNetwork diagnostics (traceroute/ping)
 mvMove or rename files or directories
 mmvMass Move and rename (files)
 ncNetcat, read and write data across networks
 netstatNetworking information
 niceSet the priority of a command or job
 nlNumber lines and write files
 nohupRun a command immune to hangups
 notify-sendSend desktop notifications
 nslookupQuery Internet name servers interactively
 openOpen a file in its default application
 opOperator access
passwdModify a user password
pasteMerge lines of files
pathchkCheck file name portability
pingTest a network connection
pkillKill processes by a full or partial name
popdRestore the previous value of the current directory
prPrepare files for printing
printcapPrinter capability database
printenvPrint environment variables
printfFormat and print data
psProcess status
pushdSave and then change the current director
pvMonitor the progress of data through a pipe
pwdPrint Working Directory
quotaDisplay disk usage and limits
quotacheckScan a file system for disk usag
ramram disk device
rarArchive files with compression
rcpCopy files between two machines
readRead a line from standard input
readarrayRead from stdin into an array variable
readonlyMark variables/functions as readonly
rebootReboot the system
renameRename files
reniceAlter priority of running processes
returnExit a shell function
revReverse lines of a file
rmRemove files
rmdirRemove folder(s)
rsyncRemote file copy (Synchronize file trees)
screenMultiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
scpSecure copy (remote file copy)
sdiffMerge two files interactively
sedStream Editor
selectAccept keyboard input
seqPrint numeric sequences
setManipulate shell variables and functions
sftpSecure File Transfer Program
shiftShift positional parameters
shoptShell Options
shutdownShutdown or restart linux
sleepDelay for a specified time
slocateFind files
sortSort text files
sourceRun commands from a file ‘.’
splitSplit a file into fixed-size pieces
sshSecure Shell client (remote login program)
statDisplay file or file system status
straceTrace system calls and signals
suSubstitute user identity
sudoExecute a command as another user
sumPrint a checksum for a file
suspendSuspend execution of this shell
syncSynchronize data on disk with memory
tailOutput the last part of file
tarStore, list or extract files in an archive
teeRedirect output to multiple files
testEvaluate a conditional expression
timeMeasure Program running time
timeoutRun a command with a time limit
timesUser and system times
touchChange file timestamps
topList processes running on the system
tputSet terminal-dependent capabilities, color, position
tracerouteTrace Route to Host
trapRun a command when a signal is set(bourne)
trTranslate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
trueDo nothing, successfully
tsortTopological sort
ttyPrint filename of terminal on stdin
typeDescribe a command
ulimitLimit user resources
umaskUsers file creation mask
umountUnmount a device
unaliasRemove an alias
unamePrint system information
unexpandConvert spaces to tabs
uniqUniquify files
unitsConvert units from one scale to another
unrarExtract files from a rar archive
unsetRemove variable or function names
unsharUnpack shell archive scripts
untilExecute commands (until error)
uptimeShow uptime
useraddCreate new user account
userdelDelete a user account
usermodModify user account
usersList users currently logged in
uuencodeEncode a binary file
uudecodeDecode a file created by uuencode
vVerbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
vdirVerbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
viText Editor
vmstatReport virtual memory statistics
waitWait for a process to complete
watchExecute/display a program periodically
wcPrint byte, word, and line counts
whereisSearch the user’s $path, man pages and source files for a program
whichSearch the user’s $path for a program file
whileExecute commands
whoPrint all usernames currently logged in
whoamiPrint the current user id and name (`id -un’)
wgetRetrieve web pages or files via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP
writeSend a message to another user
xargsExecute utility, passing constructed argument list(s)
xdg-openOpen a file or URL in the user’s preferred application
xzCompress or decompress .xz and .lzma files
yesPrint a string until interrupted
zipPackage and compress (archive) files
Special Characters
.Run a command script in the current shell
!!Run the last command again
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