Top 50 UNIX Command Every User Must Know

Roundup – Top 50 UNIX Commands Every User Must Know

UNIX needs no introduction. We all use this operating system to work, learn and program with computers. There are literally thousands of UNIX commands that a user has at his disposal. I have compiled a quick round up of top general purpose 50 UNIX commands to make your life easier and faster while working with the much-loved OS.

CommandFunction (How to do/display)
calShow calendar of month/year
cd dirnameChange current directory
cd $HOME
Change current directory to home directory
chgrpChange file's group ownership
chownChange file's ownership
chmodChange file's permissions
To compile a C language program
catConcatenate files or file content
cpCopy files
cat > filenameCreate a file
cutCut fields or columns from file
cmpGive differences between two files - character wise
diffGive difference between two files
dateSet system date (For superuser only)
dos2unixConvert files from DOS to UNIX
dfGives free disk space
echo > filenameCreate a file
echoTo display a message
exprGive string length
groupaddTo add a user group (For superuser only)
historyGive command history
hostnameGive name of local host
killTerminate a process
logoutTerminate login session
To print a file
lsGives file list
ls -lGives directory list or file attributes
manCommand documentation
mvTo rename a file or directory
mailxTo mail a message
passwdChange your own password
passwd [username]Change other user's password (For superuser only)
pwdTo check current directory
pingTest connectivity of host
printfTo echo a message
rmdirTo remove or delete empty directory
shutdownTo shut down system (For superuser only)
tailGives end of file
tput clearClear screen
trChange case of text
useraddAdd a user account (For superuser only)
unzipUncompress a .zip file
unix2dosConvert files from UNIX to DOS
viEdit file
whoTo view users an their activities
wcCount no of words, lines and characters
whatisGives command brief in one line
wallAddress all users (For superusers only)
usermodModify user account (For superuser only)
zipCompress multiple files to a single .zip file

Have you any command to add to this list? Please share in comments.

One Comment


    `watch -n 2 command`: call “command” every 2 seconds. Example: `watch -n 0.5 ps -aux -C java` monitors Java processes

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