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Linux Shell. Linux Command-Line Interface. ■ Linux shells: A shell is a command interpreter that allows you to type commands from the keyboard to interact with the operating system kernel.

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linux command line interface
Linux Command-Line Interface

■ Linux shells: A shell is a command interpreter that allows you to type commands from the keyboard to interact with the operating system kernel.

■ sh (Bourne Shell) The sh shell was the earliest shell, being developed for UNIX back in the late 1970s.

■ bash (Bourne-Again Shell) The bash shell is an improved version of the sh shell and is one of the most popular shells today. It’s the default shell used by most Linux distributions.

■ csh (C Shell) The csh shell was originally developed for BSD UNIX. It uses a syntax that is very similar to C programming.

■ tsch The tsch shell is an improved version of the C Shell. It is the default shell used on FreeBSD systems.

■ zsh (Z Shell) The Z Shell is an improved version of the bash shell.

linux command line interface1
Linux Command-Line Interface
  • Libraries Libraries are pre-written code “pieces” that application programmers use in their programs.
  • Utilities maintaining the file system, editing text files, managing running processes, and installing new software packages.
  • User Interface command-line interface (CLI) and a graphical user interface (GUI).
commonly used cli commands and utilities
Commonly Used CLI Commands and Utilities

/ : denote root directory

./ : denote current directory


■ halt This command shuts down the operating system, but can only be run by the root user.

■ reboot This command shuts down and restarts the operating system. It also can only be run by root.

commonly used cli commands
Commonly Used CLI Commands
  • man: is help command. Ex: man ls
    • Press q to quit
    • /xyz to search string in man page
  • pwd: Display current Directory
cd changing directories
cd: Changing Directories
  • cd # go to home directory
  • cd ~/papers # go to /home/user/papers
  • cd ~fred # go to /home/fred
  • cd dir # go to directory (relative)
  • cd /dir1/dir2/dir3... # go to directory (absolute)
  • cd - # go to last directory you were in
cp copy file
cp: copy file
  • cp file1 file2 # copy file1 to file2
  • cp file1 directory # copy file1 into directory
  • cp file1 file2 file3 ... directory # copy files into directory
  • cp -R dir1 dir2/ # copy dir1 into dir2 including subdirectries
commonly used cli commands1
Commonly Used CLI Commands
  • date - Shows current date

date Sat Aug 31 17:18:53 BST 2002

  • logout - Closes the current shell. Also try ``exit''.
rm delete remove files
rm - Delete (remove) files
  • rm file1 # delete a file (use -i to ask whether sure)
  • rm -r dir1 # delete a directory and everything in it (CARE!)
  • rm -rf dir1 # like above, but don't ask if we have a -i alias

■ su (switch user) This command switches the current user to a new user account. This command is most frequently used to switch to the superuser root account. In fact, if you don’t supply a username, this utility assumes that you want to change to the root account. If you enter su -, then you will switch to the root user account and have all of root’s environment variables applied.


■ env This command displays the environment variables for the currently logged-in user.

■ echo This command is used to echo a line of text on the screen. It’s frequently

used to display environment variables.

Ex: echo $PATH


■ top This command is a very useful

command that displays a list of all

applications and processes currently

running on the system.

■ which This command is used to display the full path to a shell command or utility.

Ex: which ls

It display: /bin/ls


■ whoami This command displays the username of the currently logged-in user.

■ netstat This command displays the status of the network, including current connections, routing tables, etc.

■ route This command is used to view or manipulate the system’s routing table.

■ ifconfig This command is used to manage network boards installed in the system. It can be used to display or modify your network board configuration parameters.

linux graphical user interface
Linux Graphical User Interface
  • XFree86 project developed a free windows system that provides a GUI on the Linux operating system. Using X Windows along with a window manager and a desktop environment (such as GNOME or KDE), users can interact with the Linux kernel using a mouse instead of the keyboard.
  • GPL
  • Question 13?