18 Commands That Will Change The Way You Use Linux Forever

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Published on April 6, 2022 by

When it comes to using Linux, there’s usually a few ways to accomplish a task. Here are eighteen commands that will change the way you use Linux forever. Whether you’re a Linux newbie or a seasoned SysAdmin, you’ll find this video helpful.

Chapters:
0:00 Introduction
0:38 Navigating Directories
2:02 Clearing the Terminal
3:48 Navigating Directories with a Different Tool
5:45 Minimizing an App
7:36 Restoring an App
8:44 Repeating the Last Command with sudo
10:03 Review the Command History
11:28 A Better Way to Run Previous Commands
13:21 Making Previous History Search Even Better With Timestamps
17:07 Take the Blue Pill
19:17 Adjust Font Size
20:17 Clearing a Line
20:51 Moving to the Front of the Line
21:10 Moving to the End of the Line
22:03 Chaining Commands Together
25:49 Tailing Files
26:41 Truncating Files
28:03 Using the Column Command
29:13 Conclusion

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15 Comments

  • Paul Griffin 3 months ago

    Jay, many thanks for a wonderful set of tips. Like many I have a grab bag of commands that I have picked up the the years to make life easier. These 18 little gems are fantastic. Many thanks. My favourite is CTRL Z and then return with fg. The number of times I have been in vi and need to quickly jump out and in, sometimes I'm to lazy to start another terminal session, this little trick solves that problem.

  • Crackalacking_Z 3 months ago

    One the subject of pushing things in the background with crtl+z, there is wonderful tool called "screen". It's a terminal session that always runs in the background once started, even when you logout of the system. You can simply detach and re-attach whenever you need. It's a relic of times when terminal connections were not super reliable, like over dial up. In case of a connection drop, one could just re-login, re-attach screen and continue as if nothing happened.

  • Martin Heitmann 3 months ago

    Really great

  • Sergei Pashkevich 3 months ago

    Most of the shells also support “ll” instead of “ls -l”
    For me it is a significant productivity improvement 🙂

  • Paul Stafford 3 months ago

    I have NEVER had a problem using Ctrl-z in nano.

  • seabeepirate 3 months ago

    Thank you for making the text big enough.

  • Bojan Kseneman 3 months ago

    Very helpful, thanks

  • David 3 months ago

    I'm on day 2 of using Linux for the first time in my life, this is all way above my level lol. But, gotta jump in to learn I suppose.

  • Dorany Padilla 3 months ago

    Muy bueno ese video eres un ma mastro en linux=Very good you are a master in linux.
    Thanks.

  • lacking significant gravitas 3 months ago

    thanks for this! i learned a few new tricks. i have been using linux since 2006 and never knew about "!!"

  • Perhaps 3 months ago

    The ctrl-z / fg features could be particularly handy if you are not using your OS's GUI desktop.

    Remember that UNIX was born as terminal interface (initially, via a printer that handled all output). So it was all the more important, back then, to be able to have ways of jumping around, when not only GUI desktops were nonexistent, but even video terminals were not in use.

    If for some reason you are booting into your OS's console, and not the GUI desktop, then the ctrl-z / fg feature will allow you to escape from your current task and allow you to perform some other task.

  • Perhaps 3 months ago

    tail -f could cause you to make a mistake. I have seen it happen in UNIX shops where dozens of terminals were in use. More on this in a moment.

    I prefer to use the "less" command to view a text file. Once you have that file on screen, you can press shift-f
    shift-f tells "less" to follow the output forever (same as tail -f). So then what is the difference between using "less" vs using "tail -f"?

    With "less", you can see that you are using that PAGER.
    With "tail -f", you cannot tell that you are using the tail command (well, you could scroll up, but if the output is lengthy, then that is not a good option).

    What was the mistake that I referred to at the top of my comment?:
    People would issue "ctrl-c" to quit out of "tail -f", only to realize that they quit out of the actual job that was running.

    You will not make that mistake if you use "less" and have "less" tail the file via "shift-f", because you can see when you are using less. When you are using "tail -f", there is no indication that you are using the tail command. The output of "tail -f" usually looks identical to the output of a real-time script that is running, and you want to be able to identify which terminal is running the script, and which terminal is tailing the log. "less" sets off the differences so that you will not mistakenly quit out of the wrong job.

    Also, when using less with the shift-f option, you can press ctrl-c, and all that does is stop the shift-f functionality, and it returns you to the standard "less" functionality, allowing you to use "less" to search the file you are viewing. And you can go right back to tailing the file with shift-f.

  • Sergio Molina 3 months ago

    Nice vid; great tips. What is the repository I could use to install cmatrix in Oracle Linux? Thank you

  • Massimiliano Perantoni 3 months ago

    Good video, don't know if anyone already pointed out that ctl+z doesn't send the process in three background but the process gets suspended, which means that it will not be scheduled any more, up till you execute fg or bg. The first command sends as your showed up the app to own again the stdin, stdout and stderr, while there other sends the command to the background, writing anyway to stdout and stderr.

  • Richard DeVenezia 3 months ago

    Nice tips. One I didn't see but is super useful is Ctrl-R to search command history.