Learning the Shell

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 28, 2006
Updated • Nov 5, 2017

If you happen to run a web server that runs on Linux, or happen to run Linux as your operating system for the computer you work with, you should know the basics of the shell.

Sometimes you may want to run a command that you are not familiar with, and it is in this situation that the website  linuxcommand provides you with the information to use the command properly.

Learning the shell starts with an explanation of the shell by answering the most basic question first: "What is the shell?".

After that it goes straight into navigating, looking around and a guided tour which explains the default directory structure. After that it branches off into manipulating files, I/O redirection, permissions and job control. The tutorial uses lots of screenshots for visualization; great way to learn using the shell.

learning the shell

Update: While not explicitly mentioned, the tutorial or guide is about the Linux Shell. It should work for most Linux distributions out there, even though there may be some slight differences here and there. Lets take a look at the chapters:

  • What is the shell - What's an xterm, gnome-terminal, konsole, Starting a terminal, Testing the keyboard, Using the mouse
  • Navigation - File system organization, pwd, cd
  • Looking around - ls, less, file
  • A guided tour - /, /boot, /etc/, /bin, /usr/bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin, /usr, /usr/local, /var, /lib, /home, /root, /tmp, /dev, /proc and /mnt
  • Manipulating files - Wildcards, cp, mv, rm, mkdri
  • I/O Redirection - Standard output, standard input, pipes, filters
  • Permissions - File permissions, chmod, Directory permissions, Becoming the superuser for a short while, Changing file ownership, Changing group ownership
  • Job Control - A practical example, Putting a program in the background, Listing your processes, Killing a process, A little more about kill

It may take you a while to go through the while tutorial. If you have the chance, keep it open on one monitor while trying out things it teaches on a Linux system directly.

Learning the Shell
Article Name
Learning the Shell
A review of the tutorial "Learning the Shell" which explains core shell concepts and commands to users of GNU/Linux systems.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.