10 Essential UNIX/Linux Command Cheat Sheets

Linux has become so idiot proof nowadays that there is less and less need to use the command line. However, the commands and shell scripts have remained powerful for advanced users to utilize to help them do complicated tasks quickly and efficiently.

To those of you who are aspiring to become a UNIX/Linux guru, you have to know loads of commands and learn how to effectively use them. But there is really no need to memorize everything since there are plenty of cheat sheets available on the web and on books. To spare you from the hassles of searching, I have here a collection of 10 essential UNIX/Linux cheat sheets that can greatly help you on your quest for mastery:

UNIX Tutorial for Beginners
This is a quick and easy UNIX/Linux tutorial page that is aimed at beginners. It gives a subtle introduction to some of the most important UNIX/Linux commands.

Learning the Shell
Aside from showing you how to apply the most basic UNIX/Linux commands, “Learning the Shell’ will teach you the utmost importance of using the command line.

Learn UNIX in 10 Minutes
From the page: This is something that I had given out to students (CAD user training) in years past. The purpose was to have on one page the basics commands for getting started using the UNIX shell (so that they didn't call me asking what to do the first time someone gave them a tape).

FOSSwire Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet
A one page UNIX/Linux command reference that you can download in PDF format. You can easily print it, and then paste it on your wall.

UNIX Toolbox
From the page: This document is a collection of Unix/Linux/BSD commands and tasks which are useful for IT work or for advanced users. This is a practical guide with concise explanations; however the reader is supposed to know what s/he is doing.

Practical Linux Command Line Reference
This is another handy one-page cheat sheet for common command line operations. All of the commands have been tested on Fedora and Ubuntu.

How to Look Like a UNIX Guru
From the page: This lecture takes you through the basic commands and then shows you how to combine them in simple patterns or idioms to provide sophisticated functionality like histogramming. This lecture assumes you know what a shell is and that you have some basic familiarity with UNIX.

A Directory of Linux Commands (in alphabetical order)
From the O'reilly book “Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition”, it features an alphabetical list of 687 commands and a short description on each one of them.

Linux Security Quick Reference Guide
This quick reference guide (in PDF) will serve as your aid on improving the security of your Linux system. It provides some pointers to more in-depth security information that could help you become a good UNIX/Linux system administrator.

Bash Programming Cheat Sheet
From the page: A quick cheat sheet for programmers who want to do shell scripting. This is not intended to teach programming, etc. but it is intended for someone who knows one programming language to begin learning about bash scripting.

Through comments, feel free to share some links to other essential UNIX/Linux cheat sheets that I failed to include here.


  1. Haven't seen a couple of these. The learning the shell is a great tutorial on learning bash. I also like Steve Parkers:

  2. why not put link to the page instead of some screen shoot? Very strange to have a article about web pages without linking to them...

  3. Anonymous dude.. click on the links below the screen shots to view the page :-)

  4. Thanks a lot...
    I was workarounding some of essential commands. (especially fg, bg, type and VIM tuturial)

  5. thanks i was searching for this kind of article

  6. As a "return" programmer analyst, I find your link is very helpful.

  7. thanks for the info...

    Introduction to the Command Line

    Command Line Interface Intro Special Edition