Bash Guide for Beginners - Glossary

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This section contains an alphabetical overview of common UNIX commands. More information about the usage can be found in the man or info pages.


Common UNIX commands, A
a2ps Format files for printing on a PostScript printer.
acroread PDF viewer.
adduser Create a new user or update default new user information.
alias Create a shell alias for a command.
anacron Execute commands periodically, does not assume continuously running machine.
apropos Search the whatis database for strings.
apt-get APT package handling utility.
aspell Spell checker.
at, atq, atrm Queue, examine or delete jobs for later execution.
aumix Adjust audio mixer.
(g)awk Pattern scanning and processing language.


Common UNIX commands, B
bash Bourne Again SHell.
batch Queue, examine or delete jobs for later execution.
bg Run a job in the background.
bitmap Bitmap editor and converter utilities for the X window System.
bzip2 A block-sorting file compressor.


Common UNIX commands, C
cat Concatenate files and print to standard output.
cd Change directory.
cdp/cdplay An interactive text-mode program for controlling and playing audio CD Roms under Linux.
cdparanoia An audio CD reading utility which includes extra data verification features.
cdrecord Record a CD-R.
chattr Change file attributes.
chgrp Change group ownership.
chkconfig Update or query run level information for system services.
chmod Change file access permissions.
chown Change file owner and group.
compress Compress files.
cp Copy files and directories.
crontab Maintain crontab files.
csh Open a C shell.
cut Remove sections from each line of file(s).


Common UNIX commands, D
date Print or set system date and time.
dd Convert and copy a file (disk dump).
df Report file system disk usage.
dhcpcd DHCP client daemon.
diff Find differences between two files.
dig Send domain name query packets to name servers.
dmesg Print or control the kernel ring buffer.
du Estimate file space usage.


Common UNIX commands, E
echo Display a line of text.
ediff Diff to English translator.
egrep Extended grep.
eject Unmount and eject removable media.
emacs Start the Emacs editor.
exec Invoke subprocess(es).
exit Exit current shell.
export Add function(s) to the shell environment.


Common UNIX commands, F
fax2ps Convert a TIFF facsimile to PostScript.
fdformat Format floppy disk.
fdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux.
fetchmail Fetch mail from a POP, IMAP, ETRN or ODMR-capable server.
fg Bring a job in the foreground.
file Determine file type.
find Find files.
formail Mail (re)formatter.
fortune Print a random, hopefully interesting adage.
ftp Transfer files (unsafe unless anonymous account is used!)services.


Common UNIX commands, G
galeon Graphical web browser.
gdm Gnome Display Manager.
(min/a)getty Control console devices.
gimp Image manipulation program.
grep Print lines matching a pattern.
grub The grub shell.
gv A PostScript and PDF viewer.
gzip Compress or expand files.


Common UNIX commands, H
halt Stop the system.
head Output the first part of files.
help Display help on a shell built-in command.
host DNS lookup utility.
httpd Apache hypertext transfer protocol server.


Common UNIX commands, I
id Print real and effective UIDs and GIDs.
ifconfig Configure network interface or show configuration.
info Read Info documents.
init Process control initialization.
iostat Display I/O statistics.
ip Display/change network interface status.
ipchains IP firewall administration.
iptables IP packet filter administration.


Common UNIX commands, J
jar Java archive tool.
jobs List backgrounded tasks.


Common UNIX commands, K
kdm Desktop manager for KDE.
kill(all) Terminate process(es).
ksh Open a Korn shell.


Common UNIX commands, L
ldapmodify Modify an LDAP entry.
ldapsearch LDAP search tool.
less more with features.
lilo Linux boot loader.
links Text mode WWW browser.
ln Make links between files.
loadkeys Load keyboard translation tables.
locate Find files.
logout Close current shell.
lp Send requests to the LP print service.
lpc Line printer control program.
lpq Print spool queue examination program.
lpr Offline print.
lprm Remove print requests.
ls List directory content.
lynx Text mode WWW browser.


Common UNIX commands, M
mail Send and receive mail.
man Read man pages.
mcopy Copy MSDOS files to/from Unix.
mdir Display an MSDOS directory.
memusage Display memory usage.
memusagestat Display memory usage statistics.
mesg Control write access to your terminal.
mformat Add an MSDOS file system to a low-level formatted floppy disk.
mkbootdisk Creates a stand-alone boot floppy for the running system.
mkdir Create directory.
mkisofs Create a hybrid ISO9660 filesystem.
more Filter for displaying text one screen at the time.
mount Mount a file system or display information about mounted file systems.
mozilla Web browser.
mt Control magnetic tape drive operation.
mtr Network diagnostic tool.
mv Rename files.


Common UNIX commands, N
named Internet domain name server.
ncftp Browser program for ftp services (insecure!).
netstat Print network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, masquerade connections, and multi-cast memberships.
nfsstat Print statistics about networked file systems.
nice Run a program with modified scheduling priority.
nmap Network exploration tool and security scanner.
ntsysv Simple interface for configuring run levels.


Common UNIX commands, P
passwd Change password.
pdf2ps Ghostscript PDF to PostScript translator.
perl Practical Extraction and Report Language.
pg Page through text output.
ping Send echo request to a host.
pr Convert text files for printing.
printenv Print all or part of environment.
procmail Autonomous mail processor.
ps Report process status.
pstree Display a tree of processes.
pwd Print present working directory.


Common UNIX commands, Q
quota Display disk usage and limits.


Common UNIX commands, R
rcp Remote copy (unsafe!)
rdesktop Remote Desktop Protocol client.
reboot Stop and restart the system.
renice Alter priority of a running process.
rlogin Remote login (telnet, insecure!).
rm Remove a file.
rmdir Remove a directory.
rpm RPM Package Manager.
rsh Remote shell (insecure!).


Common UNIX commands, S
scp Secure remote copy.
screen Screen manager with VT100 emulation.
set Display, set or change variable.
setterm Set terminal attributes.
sftp Secure (encrypted) ftp.
sh Open a standard shell.
shutdown Bring the system down.
sleep Wait for a given period.
slocate Security Enhanced version of the GNU Locate.
slrnn text mode Usenet client.
snort Network intrusion detection tool.
sort Sort lines of text files.
ssh Secure shell.
ssh-keygen Authentication key generation.
stty Change and print terminal line settings.
su Switch user.


Common UNIX commands, T
tac Concatenate and print files in reverse.
tail Output the last part of files.
talk Talk to a user.
tar Archiving utility.
tcsh Open a Turbo C shell.
telnet User interface to the TELNET protocol (insecure!).
tex Text formatting and typesetting.
time Time a simple command or give resource usage.
tin News reading program.
top Display top CPU processes.
touch Change file timestamps.
traceroute Print the route packets take to network host.
tripwire A file integrity checker for UNIX systems.
twm Tab Window Manager for the X Window System.


Common UNIX commands, U
ulimit Controll resources.
umask Set user file creation mask.
umount Unmount a file system.
uncompress Decompress compressed files.
uniq Remove duplicate lines from a sorted file.
Kernel daemon to flush dirty buffers back to disk.
uptime Display system uptime and average load.
userdel Delete a user account and related files.


Common UNIX commands, V
vi(m) Start the vi (improved) editor.
vimtutor The Vim tutor.
vmstat Report virtual memory statistics.


Common UNIX commands, W
w Show who is logged on and what they are doing.
wall Send a message to everybody's terminal.
wc Print the number of bytes, words and lines in files.
which Shows the full path of (shell) commands.
who Show who is logged on.
whoami Print effective user ID.
whois Query a whois or nicname database.
write Send a message to another user.


Common UNIX commands, S
xauth X authority file utility.
xcdroast Graphical front end to cdrecord.
xclock Analog/digital clock for X.
xconsole Monitor system console messages with X.
xdm X Display Manager with support for XDMCP, host chooser.
xdvi DVI viewer.
xfs X font server.
xhost Server access control program for X
xinetd The extended Internet services daemon.
xload System load average display for X.
xlsfonts Server font list displayer for X.
xmms Audio player for X.
xpdf PDF viewer.
Terminal emulator for X.


Common UNIX commands, S
zcat Compress or expand files.
zgrep Search possibly compressed files for a regular expression.
zmore Filter for viewing compressed text.