NEW!Enroll into our new Ethical Hacking Playlist. Watch Now

Ethical Hacking Course

[Linux Tips] Tricks of Linux: Mastering the Command Line

11 Mins read

Linux, with its open-source nature and robust capabilities, has become the go-to operating system for developers, sysadmins, and tech enthusiasts alike. While Linux offers a powerful graphical user interface (GUI), its true potential lies in the command line interface (CLI). In this article, we will explore a comprehensive collection of tips and tricks that will help you master the Linux command line and enhance your productivity. From navigating directories to managing processes and optimizing system performance, these tips will empower you to become a Linux command line ninja.

Table of Contents

Reasons to Embrace Linux Tips

Linux has gained immense popularity due to several compelling reasons. Firstly, Linux is renowned for its exceptional security features, making it less vulnerable to malware and viruses compared to other operating systems. Additionally, Linux is highly customizable, allowing users to tailor their environments to suit their needs. Furthermore, Linux’s open-source nature fosters a vibrant community, resulting in continuous development and improvement.

Essential Command Line Basics for Linux Tips

Navigating Directories

One of the fundamental skills in the Linux command line is navigating directories. The cd command is used to change directories, and by default, cd without any arguments takes you to your home directory. To navigate to a specific directory, you can provide the absolute or relative path. Absolute paths start from the root directory (denoted by /), while relative paths are based on your current directory.

Tab Completion: A Time-Saving Technique

Tab completion is a powerful feature that saves time and reduces typing errors. By pressing the Tab key, the command line interface will automatically complete your command or suggest possible options based on the context. For example, if you want to change to a directory named “Documents,” you can type cd Doc and then press Tab to complete the directory name.

Discovering the Power of “Which”

The which command is a handy tool for identifying the location of executable files. By providing the name of a command as an argument to which, it will display the full path to the executable file. This is particularly useful when you have multiple versions of a program installed, and you want to ensure you are using the correct one.

Running Multiple Commands in One Line

To save time and avoid running multiple commands separately, you can concatenate them on a single line using the ; separator. This allows you to execute multiple commands one after the other. For example, you can combine the mkdir and cd commands to create a new directory and navigate into it in one line: mkdir my_directory; cd my_directory.

Using History to Your Advantage

The command history feature in Linux is a powerful tool for recalling and reusing previous commands. By pressing the Up and Down arrow keys, you can navigate through your command history. Additionally, you can search for specific commands by pressing Ctrl+R and typing a keyword associated with the command. This is especially useful when you want to repeat a complex command or modify a previous command slightly.

Enhancing Productivity: Linux Tips

Mastering the Art of Aliasing

Aliases allow you to create custom shortcuts for frequently used commands, making your workflow more efficient. The alias command is used to define an alias. For example, you can create an alias to shorten the ls -l command by typing alias ll='ls -l'. Now, whenever you use the ll command, it will be equivalent to ls -l.

Saving Time with Frequently Used Commands

One of the greatest benefits of aliases is the ability to create shortcuts for frequently used and lengthy commands. For instance, you can create an alias for a complex command like git log --pretty=format:'%h - %an, %ar : %s' --graph by typing alias gitlog='git log --pretty=format:"%h - %an, %ar : %s" --graph'. With this alias, you can simply type gitlog to execute the entire command.

Manipulating Files and Directories: Linux Tips

Creating and Managing Directories

Creating directories is a common task in Linux, and the mkdir command is used for this purpose. To create a new directory, you can simply type mkdir directory_name. You can also create nested directories by using the -p option: mkdir -p parent_directory/child_directory. Additionally, the rmdir command can be used to remove empty directories.

Working with Files: Copy, Move, and Remove

Managing files is a fundamental aspect of working with Linux. The cp command is used to copy files, while the mv command is used to move or rename files. To copy a file, you can type cp source_file destination_file. Similarly, to move a file, you can type mv source_file destination_file. To rename a file, you can use the mv command and provide a new name for the file.

Searching for Files

The find command is a powerful tool for searching files in Linux. It allows you to search for files based on various criteria such as name, size, or modification time. For example, to find all files named “example.txt” in the current directory and its subdirectories, you can type find . -name "example.txt". The find command also supports various options for refining your search.

Viewing File and Directory Sizes with Linux Tips

Knowing the size of files and directories can be helpful when managing disk space. The du command is used to estimate file and directory sizes. By default, it displays the sizes in kilobytes. For example, to view the size of a specific directory, you can type du -sh directory_name. The -s option displays only the total size, while the -h option provides human-readable output.

Linux Tips for Controlling Processes

Monitoring System Processes

Monitoring system processes is crucial for understanding system performance and resource utilization. The ps command is used to display information about running processes. By default, it shows only the processes associated with the current user. To display all processes, you can use the -e option: ps -e. Additionally, the top and htop commands provide real-time monitoring of system processes with additional features like sorting and filtering.

Killing Processes: The Ultimate Control

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to terminate a running process. The kill command allows you to send signals to processes, instructing them to stop. By default, the kill command sends the SIGTERM signal, which gracefully terminates the process. To kill a process forcefully, you can use the -9 option: kill -9 process_id. You can obtain the process ID (PID) from the ps command or other process monitoring tools.

Running Commands in the Background

When running long-running commands or processes, it can be beneficial to run them in the background. By appending an ampersand (&) to the end of a command, it will run in the background, allowing you to continue using the command line interface. For example, to run a script named “” in the background, you can type ./ &. You can also use the bg and fg commands to manage background and foreground processes.

Working with Text

Powerful Text Editors: Vim and Nano

Text editors are essential tools for working with files and scripts. In Linux, two popular text editors are Vim and Nano. Vim is a powerful, modal text editor with extensive capabilities but a steep learning curve. Nano, on the other hand, is a user-friendly, beginner-friendly text editor. Both editors allow you to create, edit, and save text files from the command line.

Manipulating Text with Sed

The sed command, short for stream editor, is a versatile tool for manipulating text. It can perform a wide range of operations such as searching and replacing text, inserting or deleting lines, and more. For example, to replace all occurrences of a word in a file, you can use the s command: sed 's/old_word/new_word/g' file.txt. The sed command supports various options and regular expressions for more complex text manipulation tasks.

Linux Tips for Searching and Replacing Text with grep

The grep command is primarily used for searching text files for specific patterns or keywords. By providing a search pattern as an argument to grep, it will display all lines in a file that match the pattern. For example, to search for the word “example” in a file named “file.txt,” you can type grep "example" file.txt. Additionally, the grep command supports options for case-insensitive searches, recursive searches, and more.

Linux Tips for Networking and Connectivity

Checking Network Connectivity with Ping

The ping command is a simple yet powerful utility for checking network connectivity and diagnosing network issues. By sending ICMP echo request packets to a specific IP address or domain name, ping measures the round-trip time and packet loss. For example, to ping a website like, you can type ping ping will continue sending packets until interrupted, providing real-time feedback on network connectivity.

Linux Tips for Transferring Files with scp

The scp command, short for secure copy, is used for securely transferring files between remote hosts. It utilizes the SSH protocol for secure communication and authentication. To copy a file from a local machine to a remote server, you can type scp local_file [email protected]:/path/to/destination. Similarly, to copy a file from a remote server to a local machine, you can reverse the source and destination parameters.

Linux Tips for Managing Network Interfaces

Linux provides various tools for managing network interfaces, including ifconfig and ip. ifconfig displays or configures network interfaces, allowing you to view IP addresses, enable or disable interfaces, and more. The ip command provides more advanced functionality for managing network interfaces, including configuring IP addresses, setting up routing tables, and managing network namespaces.

System Monitoring and Performance Optimization

Monitoring System Resources with top and htop

Monitoring system resources is essential for ensuring optimal performance and identifying any bottlenecks. The top and htop commands provide real-time monitoring of system resources such as CPU usage, memory usage, and disk activity. Both commands display a list of running processes sorted by resource usage, allowing you to quickly identify any processes consuming excessive resources.

Linux Tips for Analyzing Log Files with tail and grep

Log files contain valuable information for troubleshooting and system analysis. The tail command allows you to view the last few lines of a log file, making it ideal for monitoring log files in real-time. For example, to display the last 10 lines of a log file named “access.log,” you can type tail -n 10 access.log. The grep command can be used to search log files for specific patterns or keywords, making it easier to identify relevant information.

Linux Tips for Optimizing System Performance

Optimizing system performance involves various strategies, depending on your specific requirements. Some general tips include optimizing disk usage by removing unnecessary files or moving them to a different partition, monitoring and tuning resource-intensive processes, and regularly updating your system and software to ensure you have the latest security patches and performance improvements. Additionally, tools like top, htop, and dstat can help you identify performance bottlenecks and optimize resource allocation.

Linux Tips for Securing Your System

Password-Protecting Files in Vim

Vim allows you to encrypt files using its built-in encryption feature. By using the :X command, you can set a password for a file, ensuring that only authorized users can access its contents. This is particularly useful when dealing with sensitive information or confidential documents. To encrypt a file, open it in Vim and type :X followed by your desired password. Vim will prompt you to confirm the password, and from that point on, the file will be encrypted.

SSH Authentication Without Passwords

SSH key-based authentication allows you to log into remote systems without entering a password. This provides enhanced security and convenience, especially when automating tasks or working with multiple remote servers. To set up SSH key-based authentication, you need to generate a public-private key pair using the ssh-keygen command. Once generated, you can copy the public key to the remote server using the ssh-copy-id command. From that point on, you can log into the remote server without a password.

Implementing Firewall Rules with ufw

Firewalls play a crucial role in securing your system by controlling network traffic. ufw (Uncomplicated Firewall) is a user-friendly command-line tool for managing firewall rules in Linux. It provides a simplified interface for creating and managing firewall rules, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users. With ufw, you can easily allow or deny incoming and outgoing connections based on specific criteria, ensuring that your system remains secure.

Customizing Your Linux Environment

Linux Tips for Changing the Bash Prompt

The Bash prompt, displayed before each command, can be customized to provide useful information or a personalized touch. By modifying the PS1 environment variable, you can change the appearance of your Bash prompt. For example, you can display the current directory, username, hostname, or add colorful elements. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to create a unique and informative prompt.

Linux Tips for Customizing Terminal Colors

Customizing the colors of your terminal can enhance readability and aesthetics. The terminal emulator in Linux allows you to customize various aspects, such as the background color, text color, and cursor color. By modifying the terminal’s profile settings, you can create a personalized color scheme that suits your preferences. There are also numerous pre-defined color schemes available for download, making it easy to find inspiration or create a theme consistent with your workflow.

Linux Tips for Installing and Managing Software Packages

Linux provides package management systems, such as apt and yum, which simplify the process of installing, updating, and removing software packages. These package managers handle dependencies, ensuring that all required libraries and components are installed correctly. To install a package, you can use the package manager’s command-line interface, providing the package name as an argument. Additionally, package managers offer various options for searching, updating, and managing software packages.

Linux Tips for Managing Users and Permissions

Managing users and permissions is an essential part of system administration. Linux provides various tools for creating, modifying, and deleting user accounts, such as the useradd, usermod, and userdel commands. Additionally, you can use the chown and chmod commands to change ownership and permissions of files and directories. Properly managing users and permissions is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of your system.

Linux Tips for Advanced Tips for Power Users

Using Regular Expressions in grep

Regular expressions (regex) are powerful patterns used for searching and manipulating text. The grep command supports regex, allowing you to perform more complex searches based on patterns or criteria. For example, to search for email addresses in a file, you can use a regex pattern like grep -E '[A-Za-z0-9._%+-]+@[A-Za-z0-9.-]+\.[A-Za-z]{2,}' file.txt. Regular expressions provide a flexible and efficient way to handle complex text processing tasks.

Creating Directory Trees with mkdir -p

The mkdir command, combined with the -p option, allows you to create directory trees with a single command. This is especially useful when you need to create multiple nested directories at once. For example, to create a directory tree containing parent_directory and child_directory, you can type mkdir -p parent_directory/child_directory. The -p option ensures that all intermediate directories are created if they don’t already exist.

Monitoring Commands with watch

The watch command allows you to execute a command periodically and display the output in real-time. This is particularly useful for monitoring system metrics, log files, or command outputs that change over time. For example, to monitor the disk usage in the current directory every 5 seconds, you can type watch -n 5 du -sh *. The watch command provides a convenient way to stay updated on important information without manually running commands repeatedly.

Linux Tips for Automating Tasks with Cron

Cron is a time-based job scheduler in Linux that allows you to schedule the execution of commands or scripts at specified intervals. By creating cron jobs, you can automate repetitive tasks, such as backups, system maintenance, or data synchronization. Cron jobs are defined in a crontab file, and each job consists of a schedule specification and a command to be executed. Cron provides a flexible and reliable way to ensure that routine tasks are performed automatically.


Mastering the Linux command line is a journey that requires practice, experimentation, and continuous learning. The tips and tricks covered in this article provide a solid foundation for improving your efficiency and productivity in the Linux environment. By exploring the power of the command line, customizing your system, and employing advanced techniques, you can unlock the full potential of Linux and become a command line ninja. Embrace the Linux command line, and let it empower you to achieve greatness in your work and projects. Happy hacking!

89 posts

About author
Troubleshooter @Google Ops | YouTuber (60k subs) | Creator of this website (i.e. The Techrix) Passionate about InfoSec & CTFs | Exploring tech's frontiers with curiosity and creativity."
Related posts
Ethical Hacking Course

Learn Network Scanning: The Power of Network Scanning Tools

5 Mins read
In today’s interconnected world, network security is of paramount importance. As technology advances, so do the threats posed by malicious actors. To…
Ethical Hacking Course

Learn WHOIS Footprinting: An Essential Step in Ethical Hacking

2 Mins read
In the vast landscape of cybersecurity, one of the pivotal aspects is the practice of WHOIS Footprinting. It is an essential process in…
Ethical Hacking Course

Email Tracker for Gmail: Mastering Email Tracking & Footprinting

7 Mins read
Email tracking, a pivotal part of managing communications, has revolutionized the way email interactions are measured and optimized, especially with tools like…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ethical Hacking Course

Complete introduction to Ethical Hacking | Course eHacking 1.0