Linux.com: Shell Skills, Part 3: Essential Commands
Aug 13, 2000, 11:43 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Dominico)
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"In Part 1 of the Shell Skills series, we looked at some of the
helpful features of the Bash shell. In Part 2 we learned how to use
input, output, and redirection to our advantage. By now, you
should have a good idea of how to effectively work with files and
directories at the command line. However, that command line won't
do you much good unless you know some essential commands that can
help to make your life easier."
"First, let's discuss the required terminology. Commands are
used in conjunction with "options" and "arguments". Sometimes the
same command can be used in different ways with the use of options.
Options tell the command exactly what you need it to do. They
generally consist of a hyphen followed by a letter, or two hyphens
followed by a word. When using multiple options, you can generally
use only one hyphen followed by all the options you wish to use,
with no spaces. Arguments, on the other hand, are information that
you sometimes need to give, or "pass", to a command. So, for
example, "tar -xvf foo.tar" means "use the tar command to untar (x)
the filename (f) that I have specified as an argument (foo.tar),
and give me the verbose output (v)". Simple, right? To find the
available options for a command and available arguments, try "
--help" or "man ". Please note that in the examples below, I may
not include all possible options for a command, just the most
common ones. Sounds like a motivation for doing a little more
research on your own, doesn't it?"