• Home
  • Linux tools
  • 10 Basic Linux Commands That Every Linux Newbies Should Remember

10 Basic Linux Commands That Every Linux Newbies Should Remember

Linux has had a significant impact on our lives. At the very least, your Android phone contains a Linux kernel. Getting started with Linux, on the other hand, will only cause you inconvenience for the first time. Because on Linux, rather of simply clicking the launcher icon, you should usually use terminal commands (as you did on Windows). But don’t worry, we’ll show you 10 basic Linux commands and vital commands to get you started.

10 Basic Linux Commands That Help Newbies Get Started

When we talk about Linux commands, we’re really talking about the Linux operating system. These ten basic Linux commands will not turn you into a genius or a Linux expert; instead, they will assist you in getting started with Linux. It will assist Linux newcomers in doing daily fundamental operations in Linux by using these Linux basic commands or, as I prefer to call them, Linux top commands (because of their usage).

So let’s get started with the list of 10 Linux Basic commands –

1. sudo

This SuperUserDo is the most important command Linux newbies will use. Every single command that needs root’s permission, need this sudo command. You can use sudo before each command that requires root permissions –

$ sudo su

2. ls (list)

Just like the other, you often want to see anything in your directory. With list command, the terminal will show you all the files and folders of the directory that you’re working in. Let’s say I’m in the /root directory and I want to see the directories & files in /home.

root@LinuxAndMint:~# ls
Desktop  snap

3. cd

​Changing directory (cd) is the main command that always is in use in the terminal. It’s one of the most Linux basic commands. Using this is easy. Just type the name of the folder you want to go in from your current directory. If you want to go up just do it by giving double dots (..) as the parameter.

Let’s say I’m in /home directory and I want to move in usr directory which is always in the /home. Here is how I can use cd commands –

$ cd /usr

4. mkdir

Just changing directory is still incomplete. Sometimes you want to create a new folder or subfolder. You can use mkdir command to do that. Just give your folder name after mkdir command in your terminal.

~$ mkdir folderName

5. cp

copy-and-paste is the important task we need to do to organize our files. Using cp will help you to copy-and-paste the file from the terminal. First, you determine the file you want to copy and type the destination location to paste the file.

$ cp path-to-source-file destination-path

Note: If you’re copying files into the directory that requires root permission for any new file, then you’ll need to use sudo command.  

6. rm

rm is a command to remove your file or even your directory. You can use -f if the file need root permission to be removed. And also you can use -r to do recursive removal to remove your folder.

$ rm myfile.txt

7. apt-get

This command differs distro-by-distro. In Debian based Linux distributions, to install, remove and upgrade any package we’ve Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) package manager. The apt-get command will help you install the software you need to run in your Linux. It is a powerful command-line tool which can perform installation, upgrade, and even removing your software.​In other distributions, such as Fedora, Centos there are different package managers. Fedora used to have yum but now it has dnf.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo dnf update

8. grep

You need to find a file but you don’t remember its exact location or the path. grep will help you to solve this problem. You can use the grep command to help to find the file based on given keywords.

$ grep user /etc/passwd

9. cat

As a user, you often need to view some of text or code from your script. Again, one of the Linux basic commands is cat command. It will show you the text inside your file.

$ cat CMakeLists.txt

10. poweroff

And the last one is poweroff. Sometimes you need to poweroff directly from your terminal. This command will do the task. Don’t forget to add sudo at the beginning of the command since it needs root permission to execute poweroff.

$ sudo poweroff


As I indicated at the beginning of the article, these 10 basic Linux commands will not instantly turn you into a Linux geek. It will assist you in getting started with Linux at this early stage. Begin using Linux with these fundamental commands and set a goal of learning 1-3 commands every day. 

So that’s the end of this article. I hope that was useful to you. Please submit any interesting or useful commands in the comments section below, and please share this article with your friends.


MassiveGRID Banner
5 Comments Text
  • Being an old bugger, I started as an adult using DOS which I loved because I got used to it and I was confident that I could do stuff and recover if I stuffed up.
    Having been a windows user for years, I am now trying to transition to Linux and I am finding myself out of my depth and all the posts just make it worse because I am unable to understand them.
    There is a need for a school for newbies so we can get our trainer wheels .
    The majority of people here are programmers or people who have coding ability.
    I have spoken to many computer users who have flirted with Linux and given up as they are unable to make the transition.
    Is there a forum where newbies can learn. I just had a look at an article on sudo commands and there were characters used and no explanation as to what and why, for instance the $ was used at the start of most strings but I have no idea why ? There were parts of the commands that were the subject of the command but I was unable to determine i it was the subject or part of the command itself.
    Linux is becoming its own worst enemy by being controlled by experts whose help is always assuming a higher level of literacy. There are lots of click and play bits which are all very well but if it doesn’t work I am in trouble.
    I am unable to get my printer to work and I followed a few links which also didn’t work which is very frustrating.
    As I am now retired and I have the time, I will make the transition but it is not easy.
    Please feel free to point me in the right direction.

    • Thanks, Ross for sharing your experience. I understand that new users have trouble understanding Linux commands. There are a ton of things that you don’t know when you’re learning Linux and it feels difficult. But it happens with everything else. Everything looks difficult at the start.

      In reality, Linux isn’t that difficult because of a large community. Whenever you don’t understand a word, just google it. And you’ll have a long discussion about that word, probably, you’d land on one of the communities that I have mentioned above.

      Secondly, do not hesitate to ask questions. All the communities I have mentioned above, have good programmers who are ready to help you without a penny. Keep asking questions. Lots of questions.

      And finally, just a few days ago I reviewed EndeavourOS, an Arch-based distro, the team behind it is really helpful. Actually, they are not providing a bunch of GUI tools to help people learn Linux but they have a friendly community to help new users with command-line. That’s one of the few distro that claims to be a terminal-centric Linux distro.

      Read more about EndeavourOS – http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/endeavouros-learn-arch-right-way

      Linux Mint, Debian, ZorinOS, Ubuntu, all other Linux distros have a good community. Do not let yourself demotivated. If you continue learning like this, it should take a month or so when you’ll have a pretty good understanding of the Linux system.

      I hope that helps!

      Thanks again!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *