Learning cli programs

I want to learn the command line programs like dd, fstab, lsblk, ss, etc… I have looked all over the net for a list of these programs and a short description of what they do. Can anyone recommend a site or book that will show me this? Linux has a ton of these programs, but very little documentation on how to use them, or at least I haven’t been able to find it.

Thanks in advance!

Man and info pages are your friend. Just run e.g. man dd or info dd and you’ll get a (usually) extensive description about the program.


yes, I can use man, if I know the name of the program. But, I know there are tons of programs on there that I don’t know, so not possible to look up with man.

In addition to what @pobrn said already, many commands also have an -h and/or --help option, and the man pages for the most common UNIX commands can be found online as well, among others, at the kernel project.


If you search for e.g. ‘basic bash commands’ in any search engine you’ll find tons of links, e.g.

Choose whatever seems interesting and start from there.
But be careful to understand what commands you play with.
Perhaps for a start don’t try anything starting with ‘sudo’ :slight_smile:


Thanks, but I’m already familiar with those. I guess I’m lookin more for networking programs, e.g. ip, or programs to view and control hardware, etc… Admin stuff I guess. the list that Aragorn was monstrous. I"m not going to click on each one of those 10k programs to see what each does. I"m looking for something that has maybe a few dozen really useful programs for learning linux and maintaining my system. Thanks

This site http://www.linuxcommand.org/ is quite nice. You can download the book as a PDF and it has networking stuff included as well.


Another set of books (a little bit outdated though) can be found from http://linux-training.be

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Here The Linux Documentation Project: Guides are the good old guides from the old days.
Quite comprehensive and not too fresh, but still quite useful stuff.
Perhaps GNU/Linux Command-Line Tools Summary and Bash Guide for Beginners might be of interest.