Linux system is very popular! do you now why

1. ls command: List the contents of a folder

This is among the first few commands a new Linux user learns. This command lets you see what files and folders are in your current folder.


You can use the long listing option ls -l to see details like file size, permission, modified time, etc. You can sort and control these options if you want to.

ls -l

Related Read: ls command examples

2. cd command: Change the directory

By default, you start in your home directory. You’ll often require to change the directory and move to another one.

For example, you downloaded a deb file or script. Now you want to run it. You can do that from your present working directory by providing the full path but switching to that location makes things easier.

The cd command stands for change directory; with this, you can change your location and move to another directory.

cd command examples

At this point, I highly recommend reading about the concept of paths in Linux so that things are easy to understand while navigating through directories in the Linux command line.

Recommended Read: cd command examples

3. cat command: Read a text file

If you quickly want to see the contents of a text file in Linux, cat is the command you use. It displays the contents on the screen.

cat filename

Cat command example

You can also use the cat command to create new files or add more text to existing files.

Recommended Read: cat command examples

4. less command: Read a large text file

The cat command is good enough for viewing small text files. But I won’t recommend using cat if you have a huge text file with hundreds of lines. It will flood your screen with all the text, and you will have difficulty with it.

This is where the less command comes into the picture. When you open a file with less, it opens the file in pages. You can scroll up/down, look for text, and more.

Reading large files with less command

Once you are done reading the file, you can exit the less view by pressing the Q key. You’ll notice that nothing is displayed on the screen. Your screen is clean.

Suggested Read: less command examples

5. touch command: Create new files

There are multiple ways of creating new files in the Linux terminal. The cat command you saw above can also create new files.

However, I prefer the touch command for this purpose.