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Know your Kali Linux Commands at your Finger Tips


The Commands and their Uses are Below…
apropos Search Help manual pages (man -k)
apt-get Search for and install software packages (Debian)
aptitude Search for and install software packages (Debian)
Spell Checker
awk Find and Replace text, database sort/validate/index

basename Strip directory and suffix from filenames
bash GNU Bourne-Again SHell
bc Arbitrary precision calculator language
bg Send to background
break Exit from a loop
builtin Run a shell builtin
bzip2 Compress or decompress named file(s)

cal Display a calendar
case Conditionally perform a command
cat Concatenate and print (display) the content of files
cd Change Directory
cfdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
chgrp Change group ownership
chmod Change access permissions
chown Change file owner and group
chroot Run a command with a different root directory
chkconfig System services (runlevel)
cksum Print CRC checksum and byte counts
clear Clear terminal screen
cmp Compare two files
comm Compare two sorted files line by line
command Run a command – ignoring shell functions
continue Resume the next iteration of a loop
cp Copy one or more files to another location
cron Daemon to execute scheduled commands
crontab Schedule a command to run at a later time
csplit Split a file into context-determined pieces
cut Divide a file into several parts

date Display or change the date time
dc Desk Calculator
dd Convert and copy a file, write disk headers, boot records
ddrescue Data recovery tool
declare Declare variables and give them attributes
df Display free disk space
diff Display the differences between two files
diff3 Show differences among three files
dig DNS lookup
dir Briefly list directory contents
dircolors Colour setup for `ls’
dirname Convert a full pathname to just a path
dirs Display list of remembered directories
dmesg Print kernel driver messages
du Estimate file space usage

echo Display message on screen
egrep Search file(s) for lines that match an extended expression
eject Eject removable media
enable Enable and disable builtin shell commands
env Environment variables
ethtool Ethernet card settings eval Evaluate several commands/arguments
exec Execute a command
exit Exit the shell
expect Automate arbitrary applications accessed over a terminal
expand Convert tabs to spaces
export Set an environment variable
expr Evaluate expressions

false Do nothing, unsuccessfully
fdformat Low-level format a floppy disk
fdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
fg Send job to foreground
fgrep Search file(s) for lines that match a fixed string
file Determine file type
find Search for files that meet a desired criteria
fmt Reformat paragraph text
fold Wrap text to fit a specified width.
for Expand words, and execute commands
format Format disks or tapes
free Display memory usage
fsck File system consistency check and repair
ftp File Transfer Protocol
function Define Function Macros
fuser Identify/kill the process that is accessing a file

gawk Find and Replace text within file(s)
getopts Parse positional parameters
grep Search file(s) for lines that match a given pattern
groupadd Add a user security group
groupdel Delete a group
groupmod Modify a group
groups Print group names a user is in
gzip Compress or decompress named file(s)

hash Remember the full pathname of a name argument
head Output the first part of file(s)
help Display help for a built-in command
history Command History
hostname Print or set system name

iconv Convert the character set of a file
id Print user and group id’s
if Conditionally perform a command
ifconfig Configure a network interface
ifdown Stop a network interface
ifup Start a network interface up
import Capture an X server screen and save the image to file
install Copy files and set attributes

jobs List active jobs
join Join lines on a common field

kill Stop a process from running
killall Kill processes by name

less Display output one screen at a time
let Perform arithmetic on shell variables
ln Create a symbolic link to a file
local Create variables
locate Find files
logname Print current login name
logout Exit a login shell
look Display lines beginning with a given string
lpc Line printer control program
lpr Off line print
lprint Print a file
lprintd Abort a print job
lprintq List the print queue
lprm Remove jobs from the print queue
ls List information about file(s)
lsof List open files

make Recompile a group of programs
man Help manual
mkdir Create new folder(s)
mkfifo Make FIFOs (named pipes)
mkisofs Create an hybrid ISO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem
mknod Make block or character special files
more Display output one screen at a time
mount Mount a file system
mtools Manipulate MS-DOS files
mtr Network diagnostics (traceroute/ping)
mv Move or rename files or directories
mmv Mass Move and rename (files)

netstat Networking information
nice Set the priority of a command or job
nl Number lines and write files
nohup Run a command immune to hangups
notify-send Send desktop notifications
nslookup Query Internet name servers interactively

open Open a file in its default application
op Operator access

passwd Modify a user password
paste Merge lines of files
pathchk Check file name portability
ping Test a network connection
pkill Stop processes from running
popd Restore the previous value of the current directory
pr Prepare files for printing
printcap Printer capability database
printenv Print environment variables
printf Format and print data
psb> Process status
pushd Save and then change the current directory
pwd Print Working Directory

quota Display disk usage and limits
quotacheck Scan a file system for disk usage
quotactl Set disk quotas

ram ram disk device
rcp Copy files between two machines
read Read a line from standard input
readarray Read from stdin into an array variable
readonly Mark variables/functions as readonly
reboot Reboot the system
rename Rename files
renice Alter priority of running processes
remsync Synchronize remote files via email
return Exit a shell function
rev Reverse lines of a file
rm Remove files
rmdir Remove folder(s)
rsync Remote file copy (Synchronize file trees)

screen Multiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
scp Secure copy (remote file copy)
sdiff Merge two files interactively
sed Stream Editor
select Accept keyboard input
seq Print numeric sequences
set Manipulate shell variables and functions
sftp Secure File Transfer Program
shift Shift positional parameters
shopt Shell Options
shutdown Shutdown or restart linux
sleep Delay for a specified time
slocate Find files
sort Sort text files
source Run commands from a file `.’
split Split a file into fixed-size pieces
ssh Secure Shell client (remote login program)
strace Trace system calls and signals
su Substitute user identity
sudo Execute a command as another user
sum Print a checksum for a file
suspend Suspend execution of this shell
symlink Make a new name for a file
sync Synchronize data on disk with memory

tail Output the last part of file
tar Tape ARchiver
tee Redirect output to multiple files
test Evaluate a conditional expression
time Measure Program running time
times User and system times
touch Change file timestamps
top List processes running on the system
traceroute Trace Route to Host
trap Run a command when a signal is set(bourne)
tr Translate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
true Do nothing, successfully
tsort Topological sort
tty Print filename of terminal on stdin
type Describe a command

ulimit Limit user resources
umask Users file creation mask
umount Unmount a device
unalias Remove an alias
uname Print system information
unexpand Convert spaces to tabs
uniq Uniquify files
units Convert units from one scale to another
unset Remove variable or function names
unshar Unpack shell archive scripts
until Execute commands (until error)
uptime Show uptime
useradd Create new user account
userdel Delete a user account
usermod Modify user account
users List users currently logged in
uuencode Encode a binary file
uudecode Decode a file created by uuencode

v Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
vdir Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
vi Text Editor
vmstat Report virtual memory statistics

wait Wait for a process to complete
watch Execute/display a program periodically
wc Print byte, word, and line counts
whereis Search the user’s $path, man pages and source files for a
which Search the user’s $path for a program file
while Execute commands
who Print all usernames currently logged in
whoami Print the current user id and name (`id -un’)
wget Retrieve web pages or files via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP
write Send a message to another user

xargs Execute utility, passing constructed argument list(s)
xdg-open Open a file or URL in the user’s preferred application.
yes Print a string until interrupted

Some Exanples and their Usage:
Command: ls
The command “ls” stands for (List Directory Contents), List the contents
of the folder, be it file or folder, from which it runs. The most common
options are -a (all files) and -l (long or details) Tab completion is
supported and may be configured with .inputrc
When output to file the files are listed one per line. By default, colour is
not used to distinguish types of files. That is equivalent to using —
color=none. Using the –color option without the optional WHEN
argument is equivalent to using –color=always. With –color=auto, color
codes are output only if standard output is connected to a terminal (tty).
Command: lsblk
The “lsblk” stands for (List Block Devices), print block devices by their
assigned name (but not RAM) on the standard output in a tree-like
he “lsblk -l” command list block devices in „list„ structure (not tree like
Note: lsblk is very useful and easiest way to know the name of New Usb
Device you just plugged in, especially when you have to deal with
disk/blocks in terminal.
Command: sudo
he “sudo” (super user do) command allows a permitted user to execute a
command as the superuser or another user, as specified by the security
policy in the sudoers list.
exp: [email protected]:~# sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
Note: sudo allows user to borrow superuser privileged, while a similar
command „su„ allows user to actually log in as superuser. Sudo is safer
than su.
It is not advised to use sudo or su for day-to-day normal use, as it can
result in serious error if accidentally you did something wrong, that‟s why
a very popular saying in Linux community is:
“To err is human, but to really foul up everything, you need root

Command: mkdir
The “mkdir” (Make directory) command create a new directory with
name path. However is the directory already exists, it will return an error
message “cannot create folder, folder already exists”.
exp: [email protected]:~# mkdir Kalitut
Note: Directory can only be created inside the folder, in which the user
has write permission. mkdir: cannot create directory `Kalitut„: File exists
(Don‟t confuse with file in the above output, you might remember what i
said at the beginning – In Linux every file, folder, drive, command,
scripts are treated as file).
Command: chmod
The Linux “chmod” command stands for (change file mode bits). chmod
changes the file mode (permission) of each given file, folder, script, etc..
according to mode asked for.
There exist 3 types of permission on a file (folder or anything but to keep
things simple we will be using file).
Read (r)=4
So if you want to give only read permission on a file it will be assigned a
value of „4„, for write permission only, a value of „2„ and for execute
permission only, a value of „1„ is to be given. For read and write
permission 4+2 = „6„ is to be given, ans so on.
Now permission need to be set for 3 kinds of user and usergroup. The
first is owner, then usergroup and finally world.
Here the root‟s permission is rwx (read, write and execute).
usergroup to which it belongs, is r-x (read and execute only, no write
permission) and
for world is –x (only execute).
To change its permission and provide read, write and execute permission
to owner, group and world.
[email protected]:~# chmod 777
only read and write permission to all three.
[email protected]:~# chmod 666
read, write and execute to owner and only execute to group and world.
[email protected]:~# chmod 711
Note: one of the most important command useful for sysadmin and user
both. On a multi-user environment or on a server, this command comes to
rescue, setting wrong permission will either makes a file inaccessible or
provide unauthorized access to someone.
Command: tar
The “tar” command is a Tape Archive is useful in creation of archive, in a
number of file format and their extraction.
[email protected]:~# tar -zxvf abc.tar.gz (Remember ‘z’ for .tar.gz)
[email protected]:~# tar -jxvf abc.tar.bz2 (Remember ‘j’ for .tar.bz2)
[email protected]:~# tar -cvf archieve.tar.gz(.bz2) /path/to/folder/abc
Note: A „tar.gz„ means gzipped. „tar.bz2„ is compressed with bzip which
uses a better but slower compression method.
Command: cp
The “copy” stands for (Copy), it copies a file from one location to another
[email protected]:~#
/home/user/Desktop (Return 0 when sucess)
Note: cp is one of the most commonly used command in shell scripting
and it can be used with wildcard characters (Describe in the above block),
for customised and desired file copying.
Command: mv
The “mv” command moves a file from one location to another location.
[email protected]:~#
/home/user/Desktop (Return 0 when sucess)
Note: mv command can be used with wildcard characters. mv should be
used with caution, as moving of system/unauthorised file may lead to
security as well as breakdown of system.
Command: pwd
The command “pwd” (print working directory), prints the current
working directory with full path name from terminal.
[email protected]:~# pwd
Note: This command won‟t be much frequently used in scripting but it is
an absolute life saver for newbie who gets lost in terminal in their early
connection with nux. (Linux is most commonly referred as nux or nix).
Command: cd
Finally, the frequently used “cd” command stands for (change directory),
it change the working directory to execute, copy, move write, read, etc.
from terminal itself.
[email protected]:~# cd /home/user/Desktop
[email protected]:~$ pwd
Note: cd comes to rescue when switching between directories from
terminal. “Cd ~” will change the working directory to user‟s home
directory, and is very useful if a user finds himself lost in terminal. “Cd
..” will change the working directory to parent directory (of current
working directory).

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Written by Kwabena

Kwabena is a tech freak, passionate about every new gadget and technology that comes his way. Always searching, always curios, he managed to gather an astounding experience that is very useful in his Info-Tech career.....


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