Help with Basic Linux Commands

Category: Linux

New to linux? A reader today said I need to know some of the basic commands for a linux server that I accquired. Turns out I wrote the book on Linux. Well, one of them anyway...

My book "The No BS Guide to Linux" is now online, in full text format.
Lowfat Linux is a tutorial for Linux, a version of Unix that runs on ordinary personal computers. I created it for people who want to learn the basics of using Linux, and thereby Unix, without getting bogged down in too much detail or technobabble.

Because Unix is the foundation for much of the Internet, many people are using or encountering it nowadays. As the Internet grows, Unix will become more popular, creating an array of new opportunities. If you're simply curious, looking to gain new job skills, or thinking about Linux as a low-cost platform for operating your own Internet server, you'll benefit from this knowledge.

This site has been carefully crafted and edited so that both the novice and the more experienced computer user will get what they want -- the know-how to use Linux effectively.

You'll find plain-English information here about using Linux on a personal computer or on a shell account provided by your Internet Service Provider. After a brief history and overview of Linux, you'll find a concise and occasionally light-hearted treatment of these topics:

  • File systems
  • Useful commands
  • Text editors
  • Data manipulation
  • Shell programming
  • Email tools
  • Compression, Encoding and Encyyption
  • Accesing DOS and Windows Files
  • Adding & Removing Software with RPM

The site is free to browse or search, at That should get you started!

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This article was posted by on 20 Jun 2005

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Most recent comments on "Help with Basic Linux Commands"

Posted by:

Andrew Chieng
07 Dec 2008

Hi, can you help me on the following questions? Thanks

1.To search for short descriptions and manual names for the Unix command containing the keyword “chat”, you issue the Unix command:

a)man chat

b)man –k chat

c)man –s chat

d)man –f chat

2.Which of the following are features of the Unix OS?

a)Allow more that one person to communication with the computer.

b)Allow users to share or restrict access to their files.

c)Allow a routine series of Unix commands to be run automatically as shell scripts.

d)All of the above are features of the Unix OS.

3.Assuming that the user is currently in their home directory, which of the following Unix commands will copy the entire contents of the user’s home directory (including subdirectory contents) to a directory called ~/backup?

a)copy ~ ~/backup

b)cp –r ~ ~/backup

c)cp . ~backup

d)Both a and b

4.Which of the following Unix commands will change permissions for all files contained in the directory pathname ~/unx122/samples to allow full permissions for the user, read and execute permissions for group and others?

a)chmod 711 ~/unx122/samples

b)chmod 755 ~/unx122/samples

c)chmod 755 ~/unx122/samples/*

d)chmod 766 ~/unx122/samples

5.Which of the following Unix commands will display lines 3 to 7 of a 10 line file called fun that is contained in your current directory?

a)head –7 fun | tail -5

b)tail –8 fun | head -5

c)both a and b

d)cat fun | head -5

4.A command that could be used to determine if a filename is a directory is:





5.When displaying the contents of a text file (while being in “vi” editor), one screen at a time, to find the word "pipe" enter:

a)find pipe


c)grep pipe

d)next pipe

8.What will happen if the following Unix command is issued:

sort yourfile | tail -25 > abc

a)The last 25 lines (sorted in alphabetical order) will be stored in file abc overwriting the previous file content.

b)The last 25 lines (sorted in alphabetical order) will be appended to file abc.

c)Lines 25 to the bottom of the file will be storeed in file abc.

d)Lines 25 to the bottom of the file will be storeed in file abc, overwriting the old file content

9.The octal number 7325 represents ______________ as a binary number.





10.Assume that the following Unix commands have just been issued:

$ touch myfile

$ chmod 640 myfile

What are the permissions for the file myfile that was just created?

a)r – x r – x - - -

b)r - - r - - - - -

c)r w x r – x - - -

d)r w – r - - - - -

11.Assuming that you are in the “vi” editor in command mode, which of the following commands will abort the current editing session?





12.Which of the following Unix commands will display all lines in the file called report that begin with 3 numbers?

a)grep “$[0-9][0-9][0-9]” report

b)grep “[1-9][1-9][1-9]$” report

c)grep “^[0-9][0-9][0-9]” report

d)grep “^[^a-zA-Z][^a-zA-Z][^a-zA-Z]” report

13.What does TCP/IP stand for?

a)Transmission Content Packet / Internet Packet

b)Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

c)Throughput Compression Plan / Improvement Protocol

d)Tracked Connection Probe / Internetworking Probe

14.A shell script can perform the following task(s):

a)Is used to automatically run routine Unix commands.

b)Can be used to configure a user’s environment upon login.

c)Is a file that contains Unix commands to achieve a task.

d)All of the above are tasks performed by a shell script.

15.Which of the following environment variables contains your primary Unix prompt:





16.Which of the following environment variables contains your login shell:





EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry, I don't do homework...

Posted by:

24 Aug 2019

Linux For Kids
by Bob Rankin cant find???

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