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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Basic Linux Tips and Tricks


As a relative Linux Newbie I have a lot yet to learn about our favorite open-source OS. I can however share a few of the tips and tricks I have found so far while working/playing with Linux.

While in a console window:
The Tab key - you can use the Tab key to autocomplete a command. For example if you have a file "thisisareallylongfilename.txt" and in the command line you type "pico thisis" and press tab it will complete the command to "pico thisisareallylongfilename.txt" for you.
Up Arrow - scrolls through previously entered commands
top - similar to Windows Task Manager, makes it easy to see and kill process.
pstree - prints the system tree of processes
cal - Displays a calendar, other options to try: cal -3, cal 7 1776
use echo and python as a scientific calculator: echo 'print (148+25)/(100E6)' | python
wget - a good quick downloader: wget http://...../file.ext
Use a stack to hold directory locations:
pushd . - pushes current directory to top of a stack
- pops and switches to the directory at the top of the stack
time cat
- Start a stopwatch type Ctrl-D to stop and display time, to time how long a process takes just place time in front of the command.
man "command" - If you are unsure of how to use a command, man (manual) will display the documentation for that command. For example you could type man man to get the manual's manual.

These are just a few of the many many commands that can make using Linux easier, for more information on basic Linux, check out Linux.com and Unix Guide.


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