Linux Training for People New to Linux – How to Use Linux Command Options

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Most Linux distributions (versions) have Graphical User Interface (GUI) utilities that you can use to do Linux administration. However, these “point-and-click” Linux utilities are slow and cumbersome and they are different from one Linux distribution to another. Therefore, to learn how to use Linux, don’t spend time learning Linux GUI utilities.

As part of your Linux training, one of the best benefits of learning Linux commands is that they are basically the same from one Linux distribution (version) to another. And since there are over 130 different versions of the Linux OS (operating system), learning how to use Linux commands is the best way to learn how to use Linux to do Linux system administration.

Linux Tips: When you are new to Linux and need to get Linux training, learn how to use Linux commands, not GUI utilities.

Learning how to run a Linux command can be very difficult for new Linux users. So, here are some Linux tips that will help you to learn how to use Linux commands to administer the Linux OS (operating system).

Running a Linux Command

To run a Linux command, you type in the Linux command name at the Linux command line prompt and press the Enter key.

The ]# in these examples represents the Linux command line prompt. You don’t type in the prompt!

Below is an example of running the Linux command named ls. The ls stands for list and is used to show you a list of files and directories.

]# ls

No options were used with the Linux command above.

Linux Command Options

To use options with a Linux command, you type in the letter(s) of the option, proceeded by a – (dash).

The Linux command below uses the l (el) option. The l stands for long and gives you a more detailed listing of the files in the current directory. The l option is preceded by a – (dash, or minus sign).

]# ls -l

You may also need to type in the name of an “item” that the Linux command is being run “on”, such as the name of a

directory in the Linux file system.

Linux Tips: The Linux file system is all the directories and files on the hard disk(s) a Linux system.

Running a Linux Command “On” an Item

The command below is being run “on” the directory named letters. It gives you a long listing and shows all the files and directories in the letters directory.

]# ls -l letters

An excellent way to learn how to use Linux commands is to watch Linux video tutorials, to actually see how to run a command, hear a description of what is being done, and see the output of the command.

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