10 Basic Linux Commands For Beginners

Linux is a command-line based OS. Besides having A GUI to navigate, most of the tasks use terminal commands in Linux. These commands might be difficult for a beginner to use. Therefore, I am here to show you 10 Linux terminal commands for beginners to begin with. Moreover, I will explain what they meant to do.

The terminal might seem hard to use from a beginner perspective. I know because I was at this point at some time in my beginner days. However, trust me once you start using terminal and get a hang of it, it is not that hard. Therefore, check this list of basic Linux terminal commands for beginners. So let us get started.

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10 basic Linux terminal commands for beginners

Now it is time that I show you the list of 10 easy Linux commands for beginners. These commands will be easy to use and beginner-friendly. Beginners will find these commands easy to use. These commands are great to start learning how to use commands in Linux. So let us get started.



Cd command is the most important and used command in Linux. This command shows or changes the current working directory. There are different ways to use this command. Below are some examples of how to use this command.

This command is used to return to the home directory.

cd ~

To change to a different directory in file system use:


Here you will need to specify the directory name and full path to the directory that you want to reach.

To return to previous directory use:

cd ..

you can also put the directory name after the dots from the previous directory jump into it.



As easy as it sounds. By using this command can exit from the terminal. It also ends the execution of script or command running in the terminal.




Another important Command in Linux terminal. This command helps you to find files in your file system.  This command works in different ways and some of which are given below.

To find a specific file, use “./gfg”  then –name “filename”. It will look like this

find ./gfg –name fileName.fileExtension

here at the file name, put the name of the file you want to search. At file extension put extension of the file, for example, txt, gif, zip, tar.

To search files with the same extension use following command. for example, if you want to search files with extension zip then it will look like this

find ./GFG –name *.zip

The output will now show you all the files with the zip file extension.

The following command will show you empty files and directories.

find ./GFG –empty



This command shows the memory usage of your Linux machine. This command will show you RAM and Swap memory usage in the byte. It will give you information about total ram, free ram buff ram and many more. So if you are having a hard time understanding the figures in bytes. You can use the “-h” attribute to show figures in megabytes or gigabytes.



Free –h

To show buff/cache usage separately

free  -w



grep command is used to search within files. For example, if you want to search a word on a text document then

grep word name /file Path

here put the word you want to find at word name. put the path to the file which you want to search at the file path. For example:

grep bus /etc/vehicle.txt

To search within all the files in the current directory

Grep –r “bus” /etc/



In Linux, we use gzip command for file compression. Just go the directory of the file you want to compress and enter the following command.

gzip filename.file extension

here put the information accordingly and you are good to go. For example,

gzip Bhanu.txt

Keep in mind that this command will delete the original file and leave you with the compressed file. To keep the original file use the “-k” attribute.

Gzip –k Bhanu.txt



As its name suggests, kill command is used to kill a process. Just provide the PID of the process you want to kill and you are good to go.

kill PID

here put the PID of the process you want to kill



Ps command shows you the currently running process. It will also show you the PID of the process. So you can see the PID of the process and kill it using kill command as shown previously.


ps -r

Executing these commands will show you the PID or process ID, TTY, Time and the command that triggered the process.



A simple yet useful command. This command lists the files and directories within the current directory. You can use this command simply by typing ls in the terminal



If you want a detailed view of the file then use the “-l” attribute.

ls -l

“-h” attribute to show the size in MB and GB instead of bytes and “-a” attribute to show hidden files

ls –lh


ls –la


ls –lha



Last but not list, shutdown command dos what its name gives you the idea. This command simply shutdown your Linux PC.

To shut down your PC after some time automatically.


To shut down immediately

Shutdown now

To reboot

shutdown –r

if you want to shut down the system at a given time

shutdown 10:00

Now your PC will shut down at 10:00 am.

shutdown +10

pc will shut down after 10 minutes.

To cancel the shutdown schedule.

shutdown -c

Shut down your PC with a message showing on the screen.

shutdown “hello there”

Pc will now shut down showing this massage.

Man!! Beginners might be wondering, a simple command like this can be used in so many ways. That is the beauty of Linux. Keep in mind that to give administrative permission to these commands in case they do not work.

Wrapping UP!!

So these were some basic Linux terminal commands for beginners. These are some easy to use command. Any beginner will understand these commands easily. I hope this article is helpful.