25 useful commands in Linux/UNIX for Beginners

August 22, 2007

The (often a bit geeky for this blog) FreeBSD-World website has a good “Top-25” list of 25 useful commands in Linux/UNIX for Beginners (note: new URL updated 31 Aug 2008)

I’m not sure that #24 (dig) and #25 (host) are absolutely necessary, #18 (startx) is possibly outdated these days, and the compression tools (6-9) are much of a muchness, but apart from that, #1 – #23 should be familiar to anyone who claims to be experienced with UNIX/Linux. If somebody was missing one, it would have to be #18 (startx), as (a) it’s not needed on servers, and (b) modern *nix distros will boot into a GUI automatically when possible.

So what’s the list?
25. host
24. dig
23. mkdir
22. rm
21. cp
20. grep
19. ls
18. startx
17. nano / vi
16. pwd
15. cat
14. man
13. kill
12. locate
11. ifconfig
10. ssh
9. gzip
8. bzip2
7. zip
6. tar (I would put 6-9 in one category, personally. rar should probably be in there too)
5. mount
4. passwd
3. ping
2. tail
1. top


August 1, 2007

I use vi every day; to me, there is no better text editor. It is apparently a little intimidating for the newcomer, though…. here’s a beginner’s guide to the VI editor.

I would write one of these, but – much as I love vi, and I really do, everyone who uses vi, seems to have their own experience of it, and their own shortcuts. We’ve all got our own quirks. One thing’s for sure; vi is not notepad!