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Comprehensive List of Linux & Unix Commands

Linux-Distributions Distors

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Below is a listing of each of the Unix and Linux commands currently listed on Computer Hope and a brief explanation of each command. This is a full listing which means not all the below commands will work with your distribution and may also not work because of your privileges. Clicking on any of the commands will display additional help and information about that command.

CommandDescription
a2pCreate a Perl script from an AWK script.
acPrint statistics about user connection time.
addgroupAdd a group to the system.
adduserAdd a user to the system.
agrepVersion of the grep utility which also matches approximate patterns.
aliasCreate an alternate name for a command.
aproposSearch the manual pages for a keyword or regular expression.
apt-cacheSearch for information about software packages available through APT.
apt-getCommand line tool for managing APT software packages.
aptitudeText-based front end for the APT package management system.
arCreate, modify, and extract files from archives.
archDisplay the architecture of the system.
arpManipulate the system ARP cache.
asAn assembler.
aspellAn interactive spell checker.
atSchedule a command to be run at a certain time.
awkInterpreter for the AWK text processing programming language.
basenameStrip directory information and suffixes from file names.
bashThe Bourne Again shell command interpreter.
bcA calculator.
bdiffIdentify the differences between two very big files.
bfsAn editor which can load very large files.
bgResume a suspended program without bringing it to the foreground.
biffReceive detailed mail notifications at the command line.
breakBreak out of a while, for, foreach, or until loop.
bsA Linux version of the popular game “Battleship.”
byeOn some systems, an alias for the exit command.
calDisplay a conveniently-formatted calendar from the command line.
calendarDisplay appointments and reminders.
cancelCancel a print job under the System V operating system.
catOutput the contents of a file.
ccCompiler of the C programming language.
cdChange the working directory.
cfdiskA more user-friendly version of the fdisk disk partitioning utility.
chdirFunction and alias for the cd command.
checkeqLanguage processor which assists in describing equations.
checknrCheck nroff and troff files for errors.
chfnChange a user’s finger information.
chgrpChange the group ownership of files and directories.
chkeyChange the secure RPC key pair on SunOS.
chmodChange the permissions of files and directories.
chownChange the ownership of files and directories.
chrootRun a command or shell from another directory, and treat that directory as root.
chshChange login shell.
cksumCalculate and display a CRC for files.
clearClears the screen.
cmpCompare two files byte by byte.
colFilter reverse linefeeds.
commCompare two sorted files line by line.
compressCompress a file or files.
continueBreak out of a while, for, foreach, or until loop.
cpCopy files and directories.
cpioCopy files to or from archives.
crontabView and edit a list of jobs for the system to run at regular intervals.
cshThe C shell command interpreter.
csplitSplit files based on a defined context.
ctagsCreate tag files for source code.
cuCalls up another system, acting as a dial-in terminal.
curlTransfer data to or from a server.
cutRemove or “cut out” sections of each line of a file or files.
dateOutput the current date and time.
dcAn arbitrary-precision arithmetic package.
ddCopy and convert the encoding of files.
delgroupRemove a group from the system.
deluserRemove a user from the system.
depmodGenerate a list of kernel module dependences and associated map files.
deroffRemove nroff/troff, tbl, and eqn constructs from files.
dfReport the amount of available disk space on file systems.
dhclientCommunicate with a DHCP server to obtain a dynamic IP address.
diffIdentify the differences between two files.
digDNS lookup utility.
dircmpCompare the contents of two directories, listing unique files.
dirnameStrip the file name from a pathname, leaving only the directory component.
dmesgPrint or control the kernel ring buffer.
dos2unixConvert text files between DOS and Unix formats.
dpkgQuery, install, remove, and maintain Debian software packages and their dependencies.
dpostTranslate files created by troff into PostScript under Solaris.
duReport the amount of disk space used by a file or files.
echoOutput text.
edA simple text editor.
editA text editor.
egrepFilter text which matches an extended regular expression.
ejectEject removable media.
elmA mail client.
emacsA highly extensible text editor.
enableEnable and disable LP printers.
envReport the value of environment variables.
eqnLanguage processor for describing equations.
exLine-editor mode of the vi text editor.
exitExit the command shell.
expandExpand tab characters to a series of spaces.
exprEvaluate arguments as an expression.
fcList, edit, or re-execute commands from the command history.
fdiskA disk partioning utility.
fgResumes a suspended job and brings it to the foreground.
fgrepFilter text which matches a fixed-character string.
fileDetermine a file’s type.
findFind files within a directory hierarchy.
findsmbList information about machines networked with the Samba protocol.
fingerList information about a user.
fmtA formatter for simplifying and optimizing text files.
foldWrap lines of text to a specified line width.
forExecute a set of commands in a repeating loop.
foreachExecute a set of commands once for each of a given set of input items.
freeDisplay the amount of free and used memory.
fsckCheck and repair a Linux file system.
ftpConduct an interactive FTP session over a secure network connection.
fuserIdentify processes using files or sockets.
gawkGNU’s version of the AWK programming language.
getfaclDisplay file access control lists.
gpasswdAdminister /etc/group and /etc/gshadow.
gprofDisplay call graph profile data.
grepFilter text which matches a regular expression.
groupaddAdd a group to the system.
groupdelRemove a group from the system.
groupmodModify a group definition.
gunzipExpand compressed files.
gviewAn alias which launches a graphical version of the vim text editor.
gvimAn alias for vim.
gzipCreate, modify, list the contents of, and extract files from GNU zip archives.
haltStop the computer.
hashAccess internal hash tables under Solaris.
hashstatEvaluate the effectiveness of internal hash tables under Solaris.
headDisplay the first lines of a file.
helpDisplay help for built-in shell commands.
historyDisplay the command history.
hostConvert a host name to an IP address and vice versa.
hostidPrint the numeric identifier for the current host.
hostnameSet or print the hostname of system.
idDisplay real and effective user and group IDs.
ifconfigView or modify the configuration of network interfaces.
ifdownDisable a network interface.
ifqueryParse information about a network interface.
ifupEnable a network interface.
infoRead Info documents.
initThe parent of all processes on the system.
insmodInsert a module into the Linux kernel.
iostatReport CPU and I/O statistics for devices and partitions.
ipDisplay and manipulate information about routing, devices, policy routing and tunnels.
isalistDisplay the native instruction sets available on a Solaris system.
iwconfigConfigure a wireless network interface.
jobsList the status of all running jobs.
joinJoin the lines of two files which share a common field of data.
keyloginDecrypt a user’s secret key on SunOS.
killSend a signal to a process, affecting its behavior or killing it.
killallKill processes by name.
kshThe Korn shell command interpreter.
lastDisplay a listing of the most recently logged-in users.
ldLink editor for object files.
lddList dynamic dependencies of executable files or shared objects.
lessScrolling text viewer.
lexGenerate programs for performing lexical tasks.
linkCreate a hard link to a regular file.
lnCreate a link, or a symbolic link, to a file or directory.
loExit the command shell.
locateSearch a local database to find files by name.
loginBegin a session on a system.
lognameReturn a user’s login name.
logoutExit the command shell.
losetupSet up and control loop devices.
lpPrint a file on the System V operating system.
lpadminConfigure LP print services.
lpcControl line printers.
lpqList the status of available printers.
lprSubmit print requests.
lprmRemove requests from the print queue.
lpstatList the status of the LP print services.
lsList the contents of a directory or directories.
lsmodShow the status of Linux kernel modules.
lsofList open files.
lzcatView compressed .lzma files.
lzmaCompress files to .lzma file.
machDisplay the processor of the current system.
mailRead, compose, and manage mail.
mailcompatProvide SunOS 4.x compatibility for the Solaris mailbox format.
mailxProcess mail messages.
makeAutomatically build executable programs and libraries from source code.
manDisplay the manual page of a given command.
mergePerforms a merge of the contents of three files.
mesgControl if (non-root) users can send messages to your terminal.
mii-toolView and manipulate the status of a media-independent interface.
mkdirCreate a directory.
mkfsBuild a Linux file system, usually a hard disk partition.
mkswapSet up a Linux swap area.
modinfoShow information about a Linux kernel module.
modprobeAdd and remove modules from the Linux kernel.
moreDisplay text one screen at a time.
mountMount a file system so that its data may be accessed.
mtControl magnetic tapes.
mvMove files and directories from one location to another, and optionally rename them.
myisamchkCheck, repair, optimize, or fetch information about a MySQL database.
mysqlAn open-source relational database management system.
mysqldumpA tool for backing up or transferring MySQL databases.
ncTCP/IP swiss army knife.
neqnLanguage processor for describing equations.
netstatPrint information about network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, masquerade connections, and multicast memberships.
newaliasInstall new elm aliases.
newformChange the format of a text file under Solaris.
newgrpLog into a new group.
niceInvoke a command with an altered scheduling priority.
niscatDisplay NIS+ tables and objects.
nischmodChange access rights on a NIS+ object.
nischownChange the owner of a NIS+ object on a system running Solaris.
nischttlChange the time to live value of a NIS+ object.
nisdefaultsDisplay NIS+ default values.
nisgrepUtilities for searching NIS+ tables.
nismatchUtilities for searching NIS+ tables.
nispasswdChange NIS+ password information.
nistbladmAdminister NIS+ tables.
nlNumber the lines in a file.
nmapNetwork exploration tool and security port scanner.
nohupInstruct a command to continue running even if the session is disconnected or the user logs out.
nroffFormat documents for terminal display or line-printer.
nslookupQuery a name server for information about a remote host.
odDump files in octal and other formats.
onExecute a command on a remote system, but with the local environment.
onintrBuilt-in shell function which responds to hardware interrupts.
optisaDetermine which instruction set is optimal to use on a Solaris system.
packCompress files using a Huffman algorithm.
pagesizeDisplay the size of a page of memory in bytes.
partedA disk partition manipulation program.
partprobeInform the operating system about changes to the partition table.
passwdChange a user’s password.
pasteMerge corresponding lines of files.
paxRead and write file archives, and copy directory hierarchies.
pcatPrint the uncompressed contents of a compressed file.
perlInterpreter for the Perl programming language.
pgBrowse page by page through text files.
pgrepLook up processes based on the name or other attributes.
picoA simple text editor.
pineA client for using mail and newsgroups.
pingSend ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to network hosts.
pkillSend a signal to any process whose attributes match a regular expression.
poweroffStop the computer.
prFormat a text file for printing.
printenvPrint all or part of the environment.
printfWrite formatted output.
priocntlDisplay or set scheduling parameters of a processes under Solaris.
psReport the status of a process or processes.
pstreeDisplay processes in a tree format.
pvsDisplay the internal version information of dynamic objects within an ELF file.
pwdPrint the name of the working directory.
quitExit the command shell.
rcpCopy files to or from a remote system.
readlinkPrint the value of a symbolic link or canonical file name.
rebootStop the computer.
redRun ed in “restricted” (less powerful, more secure) mode.
rehashRecompute internal hash tables under Solaris.
renameRename multiple files according to a regular expression.
reniceAlter the priority of running processes.
repeatExecute a set of commands in a repeating loop.
replaceA string-replacement utility.
rgviewAn alias for vim.
rgvimAn alias for vim.
rloginBegin a session on a remote system.
rmDelete files.
rmdirRemove a directory.
rmmodRemove a module from the Linux kernel.
rnA newsgroup reader.
routeDisplay and manipulate the IP routing table.
rpcinfoReport information about Remote Procedure Calls.
rshExecute a command on a remote shell.
rsyncA fast and versatile file copying tool capable of synchronizing files across remote systems.
rviewAn alias for vim.
rvimAn alias for vim.
s2pConvert a sed script into a Perl script.
sagUnder Solaris, Graphically displays system activity data generated by sar.
sarDisplay CPU activity under Solaris.
scpCopy files securely over a network connection.
screenScreen manager with VT100/ANSI terminal emulation.
scriptRecord everything printed on your screen.
sdiffCompare two files, side-by-side.
sedA utility for filtering and transforming text.
sendmailSend mail.
serviceRun a System V init script.
setSet the value of an environment variable.
setenvSet the value of an environment variable.
setfaclModify the access control list of a file or files.
sfdiskA low-level disk partitioning program.
sftpConduct an interactive FTP session over a secure network connection.
shThe Bourne shell command interpreter.
shredOverwrite a file’s contents, irrevocably destroying them.
shutdownSchedule a time for the system to be powered down.
sleepWait a given number of seconds.
sloginLogin to a remote system securely.
smbclientAn ftp-like client for accessing SMB/CIFS resources on servers.
sortSort the lines in a text file.
spellA spell checker.
splitSplit a file into pieces.
startxStart an X Window System session.
statDisplay the status of a file or filesystem.
stopStop a running job.
strftimeFormat strings that represent the system date and time.
stripDiscard symbols from object files.
sttySet options for your terminal display.
suBecome the superuser or another user.
sudoExecute a command as the superuser.
swapoffDisable a Linux swap area.
swaponEnable a Linux swap area.
sysklogdLinux system logging utilities.
tabsSet tab stops on a terminal.
tacOutput the contents of files in reverse order.
tailPrint the last lines of a text file.
talkTalk with other logged in users.
tarCreate, modify, list the contents of, and extract files from tar archives.
tblPreprocessor which formats tables for nroff or troff.
tcopyCopy a magnetic tape.
tcpdumpCapture raw network traffic.
tcshA command-line shell similar to csh, with some additional features.
teeRoute a file’s contents to multiple outputs.
telinitProcess control initialization.
telnetConnect to a remote system using the telnet protocol.
testCheck file types and compare values.
timeReport how long it takes for a command to execute.
timexReport process data and system activity for a specified command.
todosConvert text files between DOS and Unix formats.
topDisplay a sortable, continually-updated list of processes.
touchUpdate the timestamp of a file or directory.
tputInitialize a terminal or query the terminfo database.
trTranslate one set of characters to another.
tracerouteTrace the route that packets take to a remote host.
trapA function which “traps” signals and interrupts, and reacts to them.
treeList the contents of a file hierarchy visually in a tree format.
troffTypeset or format documents for terminal display or line-printer.
ttyPrint the file name of the terminal connected to standard input.
ulTranslate underscores to underlining.
umaskGet or set the file mode creation mask.
umountUnmount a file system, making its data inaccessible.
unaliasRemove an alias.
unamePrint information about the current system.
uncompressExtract files from compressed archives.
unhashRemove internal hash table under Solaris.
uniqIdentify, and optionally filter out, repeated lines in a file.
unlinkRemove a file.
unlzmaDecompress .lzma files.
unpackExpand a compressed file.
untilExecute a set of commands until a certain condition is true.
unxzDecompress .xz files.
unzipList, test and extract compressed files in a zip archive.
uptimeDisplay information about how long the system has been running.
useraddAdd a user to the system.
userdelRemove a user from the system.
usermodModify a user’s account.
vacationReply to mail automatically.
vgrind“Grind” nice program listings.
viText editor based on the visual mode of ex.
viewRun vim in read-only mode.
vimAn advanced version of vi.
vipwSafely edit the password file.
visudoSafely edit the sudoers file.
vmstatReport statistics about virtual memory usage.
wShow who is logged on and what they are doing.
waitAwait process completion.
wallSend a message to all logged-in users.
wcDisplay a count of lines, words, and characters in a file.
wgetDownload files via HTTP or FTP.
whatisDisplay short manual page descriptions.
whereisLocate the binary, source, and manual page files for a command.
whichLocate the binary executable of a command.
whileExecute a set of actions while a certain condition is true.
whoReport which users are logged in to the system.
whoamiPrint your effective userid.
whoisAn internet user name directory service.
writeSend a message to another user.
XExecutable of the X Window System.
XorgThe executable of the X Window System server.
xargsBuild and execute complex commands, and execute them on multiple files.
xfdDisplay all the characters in an X font.
xhostServer access control program for X.
xinitThe initializer of the X Window System.
xlsfontsDisplay X font lists.
xrdbAn X server resource database utility.
xsetA user preference utility for X.
xtermA terminal emulator for X.
xzCompress files to .xz files.
xzcatView compressed .xz files.
yacc“Yet another compiler-compiler.”
yesRepeatedly output a given string, or the letter “y”.
yppasswdChange a network password in an NIS database.
yumAn interactive rpm-based package manager.
zcatPrint the uncompressed contents of compressed files.
zipA compression and archiving utility.
zipcloakEncrypt files within an existing zip archive.
zipinfoDisplay technical information about a zip file.
zipnoteView, add, or modify a zip file’s comments.
zipsplitSplit a single zip archive into a set of smaller zip files.

source: computerhope

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