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The following pointers can be used to get a basic understanding of a Linux system.


  • kernel
  • debian/raspbian
  • root
  • shell
  • filesystem (ext2)
  • firmware
  • apt
  • mount points
  • shm
  • proc
  • dev
  • tty
  • stderr/stdout
  • sound
  • putty/ssh
  • ncurses (text based gui)

command line
shutdown - shut down or reboot system
passwd   - change password
man      - man(ual) page with info
date     - prints date and time
sudo     - do as root
su       - substitute user
ls       - list files in a directory
alias    - shortcuts to commands
ps       - process information
df       - disk free
du       - disk usage
cat      - print contents (of a file)
echo     - print text (on screen)
touch    - create/update file/timestamp
more     - show output per-screen
grep     - filter output by keyword(s) match
head     - show top of (a file)
tail     - show bottom (of a file)
sort     - sort alphabetically
find     - search for matching files or directories
cp       - copy file(s) or directories
mv       - move file(s) or directories
rm       - delete file(s)
pwd      - print working directory
cd       - change directory
mkdir    - make directory
rmdir    - remove directory
chown    - change ownership permissions of a file or directory
chgrp    - change group permissions of a file or directory
chmod    - change access and execute permissions of a file or directory
groups   - show group memberships
ifconfig - show network interfaces
netstat  - show network connections

cron                 - execute scheduled commands
crontab -e           - edit user's own crontab
crontab -e -u <user> - edit other user's crontab
crontab -l           - show contents of crontab

<cmd> &     - background a process
nohup <cmd> - background a process independent of shell
screen      - background shell

CTRL-PGUP   - scroll screen up
CTRL-PGDN   - scroll screen down
arrow up    - previous command
arrow down  - next command
history     - show list of previous commands
!<nr>       - issue command nr

apt (software package management)
apt-get update                  - fetch a current list of all packages from the Internet
apt-get upgrade                 - check for and install any packages that need updating
apt-get clean                   - empty cache of downloaded packages
apt-cache search <name>         - find if a package exists
apt-cache show <name>           - show detailed information about a package
apt-get install <name>          - install a package
apt-get remove <name>           - remove a package
apt-get remove --purge <name>   - remove a package + any configuration files

dpkg -l                         - show list of all installed packages

aptitude                        - curses based package management

rapspi-config - configure raspberry pi
rpi-update    - update rpi firmware

startx        - start x environment
iptraf        - monitor network activity
bwm-ng        - bandwidth monitor



Apache - web server
Samba  - Windows-compatible File Server
MySQL  - Database Server
NTP    - Time server

Scratch (RPi)

Interfacing with the Raspberry Pi GPIO
Level Converter

Further reading:

Putty, the Windows SSH client: