100 CLI prompts to manage and navigate a Linux server

suggestion: download or print this page to take with you for future reference
command/prompt | what it does


cd | changes directory to specified one, i.e. [location]
pwd | shows your current directory
ls | shows the contents of your current directory
ls -l | shows the contents of your current directory and additional details
ls -a | shows the contents of your current directory, including hidden files
~ | shortcut to your home directory
. | references current directory
.. | references parent directory. You can move up the hierarchy by using this in succession, i.e. "/../../"
file [path] | tells you what kind of file it is
mkdir | creates a new directory
touch [filename] | creates a new file
cp | copying files and folders
cp [file] ../[folder] | copies the file into the folder that is located one directory back
mv [file] ../[folder] | moves the file into the folder that is located one directory back
rm | removing files and folders
touch | used to update the access date or/and modification date of a computer file or directory
gzip | file compression and decompression
b2zip | similar to gzip - it uses a different compression algorithm
zip | for packing and compressing (to archive) files
locate | to search files in Linux
scp | securely copy files using SCP, with examples
find | locates files based on some user-specific criteria
grep | search a file for a pattern of characters, then display all matching lines
wget | retrieve files over HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and FTPS
curl | transferring data using various network protocols (supports more protocols than wget)
dd | convert and copy files
mkfs | build a Linux file system
fsck | tool for checking the consistency of a file system
umask | set file mode creation mask
chmod | change the access permissions of file system objects
chown | change file owner and group
cat | display file contents
tac | output file contents, in reverse
more | display file contents one screen/page at a time
less | similar to the more command with additional features
rsync | remote file tranfers and syncing
tar | an archiving utility


df | display disk space usage
du | estimate file space usage
free | display memory usage
ncdu | disk utility for Unix systems
pstree | display a tree of processes
vmstat | shows system memory, processes, interrupts, paging, block I/O and CPU info
dstat | view processes, memory, paging, I/O, CPU, etc., in real time
htop | interactive process viewer and manager
iotop | interactive I/O viewer. Get an overview of storage r/w activity
iostat | for storage I/O statistics
fdisk | manipulate the disk partition table
parted | for creating and manipulating partition tables


last | show a list of last logged in users
w | display a list of current logged in users sessions
ps | information about currently running processes
uptime | shows system uptime and load average
top | shows an overall system view
kill | terminate a process
killall | sends a kill signal to all instances of a process by name
sleep | suspends program execution for a specified time
wait | suspend script execution until all jobs running in the background have been terminated
ss | utility to investigate sockets
atop | for Linux server performance analysis


nmcli | network management
iftop | network traffic viewer
nethogs | network traffic analyzer
netstat | for network statistics
ip | utilities for controlling TCP/IP network/traffic in Linux
mtr | network diagnostic
nc | command line networking utility


traceroute | check the route packets to a specified host
nslookup | query Internet name servers (NS) interactively
host | perform DNS lookup in Linux
dig | DNS lookup utility
whois | client for the whois directory service


ssh | secure command line access to remote Linux systems
chroot | run command or interactive shell with a special root directory
useradd | create a new user or update default new user information
userdel| used to delete a user account and all related files
usermod | used to modify or change any attributes of an existing user account
passwd | change a users password
sudo | execute commands with administrative privilege


vi | text editor
nano | text editor
tmux | a terminal multiplexer


clear | clears the screen of the terminal
env |run a command in a modified environment
screen | hold a session open on a remote server (also a full-screen window manager)


man | for reading system reference manuals
apropos | search man page names and descriptions
cron | set up scheduled tasks to run
blkid | command line utility to locate/print block device attributes
tail | used to display the tail end of a text file or piped data
dmesg | prints the message buffer of the kernel ring
journalctl | query the systemd journal
nohup | run commands in the background
chpassword | mount / umount : provides access to an entire filesystem in one directory
systemctl | managing services (Daemons)
cheat | allows you to create and view interactive cheatsheets on the command line
tldr | collaborative cheatsheets for console commands
bashtop | the "cool" top alternative
bpytop | python port of bashtop
cal | displays the current month calendar

credit where credit is due - inspired by ~jackasu on 108MHZ
and his 90 Linux Commands frequently used by Linux Sysadmins
as well as other various sources online