Linux Command Line Essentials


A 2 day introduction to the Linux command line environment for staff working with Linux servers and/or workstations. The course covers the Linux shell command line (Bash and Korn Shell), filename wildcards, I/O redirection, pipelines, filesystem structure, process environment, common filter commands, using X-Windows applications and customizing the login environment. The focus is on an improved understanding of the shell’s command line parsing mechanism, as well as familiarity with the most commonly used Linux utilities. Optionally this course can be customized by combining it with the companion course Linux Shell Scripting.

Duration: 2 days

Who is it for: This course is designed for staff with little or no prior experience of the Linux command line, but who do have basic familiarity with using a computer keyboard and mouse in a window based environment such as Microsoft Windows, Linux Desktop or Mac OS X.

Layout: This course comprises a mix of theory, demonstrations and hands on exercises. Approximately 50% of the time is hands-on.


  • Logging in and using the command line interface
  • Customizing the shell login environment ( Bash and Korn Shell)
  • Managing files and directories
  • Understanding the Linux process model including environment variables
  • Working effectively with wildcards and quotes
  • Building command lines using I/O redirection and pipelines
  • Familiarity with common filter commands
  • Understanding the capabilities of the command file editors
  • Using local and remote X-windows applications


Getting started

  • Logging in
  • Command history
  • Command line format
  • The ls and ps commands
  • Manual pages and other sources of help

Filesystem structure

  • The home directory and standard system directories
  • Relative and absolute paths
  • Paging files with less/more
  • Creating, renaming and deleting files and directories
  • Symbolic links

Shell command line parsing

  • Meta characters
  • Filename generation
  • Quotes
  • Environment variables

Common commands

  • Using filter commands such as cut
  • Examining files with file, od, wc, etc.
  • The grep command and regular expressions
  • The find command


  • Using the vi family
  • Using emacs
  • Other editors such as pico/nano

Login environment

  • The login profile
  • Customizing the prompt
  • Search PATH
  • Aliases


  • Looking at processes
  • Background commands
  • Killing processes

GUI Applications

  • X-Windows architecture
  • The DISPLAY variable
  • GUI applications and editors
  • Mouse key shortcuts

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