5 must-read resources for using the Linux command line

The Linux command line remains to be one of the system's most powerful and beloved features.
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Command line prompt


In the beginning, there was the command line. While modern Linux distributions include graphical desktops like GNOME and KDE, the command line remains one of the power features of every Linux system. With the command line, you can leverage a rich set of instructions to edit and manipulate files, control your system, and automate processes.

This year, our contributors wrote a lot of great articles about the Linux command line. Here are five of my favorite topics.

12 essential Linux commands for beginners

Don Watkins writes about this list of twelve essential commands to navigate the Linux command line. If you're new to Linux and want to explore the command line, this is a great list to help you get started.

3 steps to create an awesome UX in a CLI application

Creating a command line program with a great user experience (UX) is a tall order, but Noaa Barki shares three actionable steps to make it work. If you're building your own command line program, Noaa's article will help you to design the commands, design the interface, and provide for backward compatibility.

How I configure Vim as my default editor on Linux

Vim is the venerable visual editor for Linux systems. Expanded from the original vi editor, Vim (vi improved) is a powerful and flexible editor. David Both writes about why Vim is a great editor, and how to set other programs to use Vim for editing.

Tips for using the Linux test command

Add extra flexibility to your shell scripts using the test command. Seth Kenlon wrote about easy and common ways to control the flow of your shell scripts by using conditional execution. You can test for files, file types, attributes, numbers, and do other comparisons to make your scripts more flexible.

6 Linux metacharacters I love to use on the command line

Don Watkins shared this list of special command line characters, including * to select a group of files or > to redirect the output of a command. If you're experimenting with the Linux command line, you may want to learn these important metacharacters to expand your command line usage.

Take a look at some or all of these author's links. You are sure to learn something new. If you are rusty with command line concepts these articles will show you the way of the command line.

photo of Jim Hall
Jim Hall is an open source software advocate and developer, best known for usability testing in GNOME and as the founder + project coordinator of FreeDOS.
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