February 07, 2012, 4:47 PM — This excerpt is from the book, 'Ubuntu Unleashed: 2012 Edition' (covering 11.10 and 12.04) authored by Matthew Helmke, published by Pearson/SAMS, Jan. 2012, ISBN 0672335786, Copyright 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc. For further publisher info, www.informit.com/title/0672335786
Chapter 10: Command-Line Quickstart
The Linux command line is one of the most powerful tools available for computer system administration and maintenance. The command line is also known as the terminal, shell, the console, the command prompt, and the command-line interface (CLI). For the purposes of this chapter and the next, these terms are interchangeable, although fine-grained differences do exist between them.
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The command line is an efficient way to perform complex tasks accurately and much more easily than it would seem at a first glance. Knowledge of the commands available to you and also how to string them together will make using Ubuntu even easier for many tasks. Many of the commands were created by the GNU Project as free software analogs to previously existing proprietary UNIX commands. If you are interested, you can learn more about the GNU Project at www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html.
This chapter looks at some of the basic commands that you need to know to be productive at the command line. You will find out how to get to the command line and learn some of the commands used to navigate the file system and perform basic operations with files, directories, and users. This chapter does not give comprehensive coverage of all the commands discussed, but only enough to get you started. Chapter 11, “Command-Line Master Class,” advances the subject further while expanding on some of the commands from this chapter. The skills you learn in this chapter will help you get started using the command
line with confidence.
Now read this: Fixing a broken Ubuntu upgrade