Hello people! Today we are going to quickly show you basic tricks and commands for the terminal in GNU / Linux.

Open the terminal

Open the application menu and find the terminal application. You can also open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.

Run a command

Type the command and press the ENTER key.

Close or leave the terminal

Run the command exit

Stop the execution of a command

To stop executing a command, either because it is taking too long or because it hangs up, press Ctrl + C.


We can autocomplete by pressing the TAB key either to finish typing a command or to show us what options are available.

Complete the command

Show commands that start with ...

Complete folder addresses

Show available parameters for a command

Show package names starting with ...

Folder (directory) navigation

Show the contents of a directory.


Show list details

ls -l

Show hidden files and folders

ls -a

Parameters can be combined to display the details list including hidden files.

ls -la

In GNU / Linux to convert a file into a hidden file, just make the name start with a period, the same applies to folders.

Getting in and out of folders

Enter a folder

cd carpeta

Exit a folder

cd ..

Show full path of current folder


See text file

Show a text file

less archivo

With less you can search for a word in the text

  • Search: / + word + ENTER
  • Find Next: N
  • Find Previous: Shift + N

To get out of less press the Q

Manuals commands

The command man shows the command manual

man [comando]
man ls
man cd

man use the same navigation and search as less. To exit press the Q key.

See the file type

The file command displays the file type regardless of whether the extension has been changed or has no extension.

file archivo

Edit text files

nano is a simple, easy-to-use text editor for the terminal, at least much easier to use than I saw.

nano archivo

Use the arrow keys to scroll through the text. To exit press the Ctrl + X keys, then you will be asked if you want to save the changes.

In the menu the symbol «^» is replaced by the Ctrl key, in this way

^ X = Ctrl + X

This is sufficient for terminal newbies, at least for a little while. The terminal is a powerful and light tool, little by little more and more commands are memorized, until you acquire such comfort that one prefers to perform many tasks in the terminal over doing it in a graphical interface. I hope this article is helpful and facilitates the introduction to the use of the terminal to the newest in the world of GNU / Linux.


Create empty file

touch archivo_nuevo.txt


sudo reboot

Another way to restart

sudo shutdown -r now

To turn off

sudo shutdown -P now

Off at 02:30 pm

sudo shutdown -P 14:30

Off in 30 minutes

sudo shutdown -P +30

Monitor command

watch -n [segundos] [comando]

watch run the command every few seconds, to stop watch press Ctrl + X.

watch -n 1 date
watch -n 10 df -h /dev/sda1

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Charls (@carlosromeroibanez)
1 year ago

Thanks for the information, very useful.

Deepin En Español
Deepin En Español (@deepin-en-espanol)
1 year ago

Thank you very much for contributing to the community. Because the world of the terminal is vast, we have moved to a sub-category dedicated to it: «Using the terminal«. We hope you like it and learn from other Linux savvy.

Hiram Higuera
Hiram Higuera (@hiramhiguera)
1 year ago

Excellent manual, thank you.

f12019 (@f12019)
1 year ago

Very good contribution and thanks for thinking of us newbies

Эли (@eli)
1 year ago

Very interesting article Isaías Gätjens M, Straight to the point but clear.

Antonio Olmedo
Antonio Olmedo (@antonioolmedo)
1 year ago

Excellent informative contribution, a world is grateful for the effort made for us newbies. Thank you!!!

Juan Carlos Leiva
Juan Carlos Leiva (@juancarlosleiva)
1 year ago

Good afternoon
Very useful
Thank you

guirunio (@guirunio)
10 months ago

Excellent contribution. I have a hard time understanding the commands, but I practice a lot to understand them. Thank you.

FABIAN GUILLINI (@fabianguillini1)
7 months ago

Hello I hope you are well, I want to know how I can use the terminal, when it asks me for the password, it is not written for anything in the world and I do not understand why you can help me with that.

profiler 2.0
profiler 2.0 (@profiler-2-0)
2 meses atrás

muchas gracias, tomando nota, saludos!!

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