This is the basic how-to of using the linux terminal. Here we will cover things such as transversing directories, compileing files, and such.

The basics of traveling through directories Edit

Here we will cover the basics of using the Terminal. First, the most basic and important thing we will cover here is how to go from folder to folder. If you have ever used DOS then this will be quite fimilar to you.

Ok first things first, as you can guess it is quite hard to go from folder to folder if you have no clue what folders exist. This problem can be solve with two letters "ls". ls will output something like the following:

Guest@furbuntu / $ ls
bin dev home isolinux lost+found mnt proc sbin tmp var
boot etc initrd lib media opt root sys usr
Guest@furbuntu / $

ls also has various switches that we will talk about later. The terminal may color code the output of ls to signal what is a file, a folder, or an application. From simplicity sake, in all the examples the colors will be blue for directories, green for applications, and black for files.

The next must know command is "cd". These to letters will take you anywhere you want to go (as long as you have permission to access it) in terms of folders. Let's use cd to switch to the etc directory from the / directory. The output will look something like this:

Guest@furbuntu / $ cd etc
Guest@furbuntu /etc $

Quick note: / stands for the root directory (the highest folder in the filesystem) and ~ stands for your home directory, which in the case of the example would be /home/Guest. Also note that folder and file names ARE case-sensitive. Finally to access a directory whit a space in the name you have to add a \ at the end of the word before the space then add the space or else you will get a no file or directory found error.

The Third all powerful tool is the "cat" (which is short for catolog) command. For the less tech minded you can think of cat as somewhat like a magical feline that types up the contents of any file you tell it to onto the terminal screen. Let's use cat to read the note I left you guys in your home directory in our example terminal:

Guest@furbuntu ~ $ cat note.txt
Hi, I'm glad to see you have learned how to use the cat command to read files.
Guest@furbuntu ~ $

Note: Sometimes the output from cat may appear as a bunch of gibberish which means that the file is not in a readable format. Other times the output may flood the terminal and you can only read a bit of the file, this can be solved using the less and more commands we will discuss later.

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