Command Line Essentials: Introduction

I have decided to try to write a Command Line Essentials guide. I intend to start from the beginning and make it very easy.

Table of contents

  1. Navigating the file system
  2. Text and Pipeline

Getting started
The primary platform will be Linux (Debian). Most things will apply to other Linux distributions, Mac OS X as well as Cygwin.

Linux: just start a terminal.
Mac OS X: start Terminal application, under Application/Utilities.
Windows: install and start cygwin.

What matters more than the operating system is the shell (more on this later – I will use bash). Bash looks something like this:

essentials@kvaser:~$ 

Here essentials is my username and kvaser is the name of the computer. To make sure it is Bash, print the value of the variable SHELL:

essentials@kvaser:~$ echo $SHELL
/bin/bash

Note: case is essential.

If you have been given remote access to a Linux system and you are on Windows; install putty. You will need host address, username and password. First thing you should do when you log in this way is to change your password.

essentials@kvaser:~$ passwd

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