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Mastering the Linux Shell

Mar 15, 2013 - Tags:

This is one of several articles I will be writing on the subject of the Linux command shell. In Windows-land, you had "CMD" or what some might remember as the DOS prompt. In Linux, we call it a command shell, or simply "a shell". There are many types of shells, each of which works similarly (e.g. they all allow you to run commands) but each sports many different capabilities. The default on Linux is called bash, or the GNU Bourne Again Shell, so named because it is based on the UNIX Bourne shell. 

If you're ready, it is time to transform you into a master or mistress of the shell. In deciding to join me here, you have identified yourself as one of the bold and curious explorers who really want to know their Linux systems. Sure, it is possible to work day in and day out with your Linux system and rarely use the command line, but the command line is power. Your reward for continuing to this next level will be a deeper understanding of your system and the power to make it do whatever you want.

The things I want to talk about here are basic commands that will serve you well throughout your time with Linux. One of the things I hope to show you is how flexible some of these commands are. With most, you can modify the basic function with command-line switches, flags, or options, and thereby have them yield far more information than a simple execution of the command itself. A little thirst for exploration will open you up to the real potential of everyday commands. 

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