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Top 10 Best Cheat Sheets and Tutorials for Linux / UNIX Commands

Cheat sheet act as a reference tool which provides cut and paste kind of commands to complete a specific task. I often recommend following set of best cheat sheets to students and IT professionals. It include Linux/UNIX command and shell scripting.

Unix Toolbox

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.

=> Visit UNIX Toolbox

UNIX Tutorial for Beginners

A beginners guide to the Unix and Linux operating system. Eight simple tutorials which cover the basics of UNIX / Linux commands.

=> Visit UNIX Tutorial for Beginners

Linux Command and Learning Shell Tutorials

You have Linux installed and running. The GUI is working fine, but you are getting tired of changing your desktop themes. You keep seeing this “terminal” thing. Don’t worry, this site will show you what to do.

=> Visit Learning the shell

Learn UNIX in 10 minutes

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).

=> Visit Learning UNIX in 10 minutes

How To Look Like A UNIX Guru

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.

=> Visit How To Look Like A UNIX Guru

Linux command line reference

Another very good Linux command line reference for common operations.

=> Visit Linux Command Line Reference

Linux-Unix cheat sheets – The ultimate collection

Links to good reference material on various topics.

=> Visit Linux-Unix cheat sheets – The ultimate collection (dead link removed)

Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition. You can view total 687 commands to get a description and list of available options.

=> Visit directory of Linux commands

A Sysadmin’s Unixersal Translator (ROSETTA STONE)

A simple and nice lookup table for Linux / UNIX / BSD commands.

=> Visit Sysadmin’s Unixersal Translator (ROSETTA STONE) (PDF version)

BigAdmin – System Administrator Resources and Community

Sun has BigAdmin portal with tons of information regarding UNIX, shell scripting and much more.

=> Visit BigAdmin System Administration Portal- Shell Commands (dead link removed, added archive.org link)

Please feel free to suggest some of the UNIX cheat sheets / tutorials, I did not mentioned here in the comments.

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This entry is 1 of 2 in the Best Resources for Linux & Unix series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. Top 10 Best Cheat Sheets and Tutorials for Linux / UNIX Commands
  2. 30 Best Sources For Linux / *BSD / Unix Documentation On the Web
{ 30 comments… add one }
  • JaduNovember 6, 2008, 12:08 pm

    great info; most of the books you mentioned are useful.

  • RajNovember 6, 2008, 3:37 pm

    Hey, some of your screenshots got mp3 player; otherwise a good collection of cheat sheets.

  • Amit AgarwalNovember 7, 2008, 2:29 am

    Very good info. But I think you should have also mentioned some of the most popular blogs, I think that is the best way to learn Unix/Linux.

  • chrisNovember 7, 2008, 5:09 pm

    i personally learn by break & fix (obviously on a dev) big learning curve, my first intro to linux was gentoo

  • goestinNovember 11, 2008, 4:33 pm

    Very very nice indeed, especially #1 howto vpn over ssh: brilliant!

    tnx a lot!

  • danteNovember 25, 2008, 12:52 am


  • Shaunak BangaleJune 9, 2009, 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the collection..With this,It is inspiratory for a beginner to learn linux commands..

  • kas@hilJuly 2, 2009, 10:55 am

    Very usuefull information.

  • sandeep k pandeyJuly 19, 2009, 4:52 am

    hiii i am sandeep
    i want to say you thanks

    • anonymousMarch 13, 2015, 12:01 am

      thanks for letting us know “sandeep k pandey” that ur name is sandeep..

  • Girish MahajanJuly 27, 2009, 1:18 pm

    More to add–


    tail -10 access_log.2009-01-19 | awk '/go/ { print $13 }'

    it will grep the /go/ apps and cut the 13 th delem’s …. isnt its great !
    Rogers 87 100 95
    Lambchop 66 89 76
    Barney 12 36 27

    You can perform calculations like this:

    awk '{print "Avg for",$1,"is",($2+$3+$4)/3}' grades.data
    Avg for Rogers is 94
    Avg for Lambchop is 77
    Avg for Barney is 25


    cat access_log.2009-01-19 | grep $1 | cut -f13 -d" "| awk '{ request += $1 } END { print request }'

    ll -R . | grep "jpg\\|mp4\\|3gp\\|gif" | grep "Apr\\|May\\|Jun" | awk '{print $5"\t" $6}'

    ps auxwww | grep daemon | grep -v grep | awk '{print $11}'

    cat /home/girish/script/ReportTool/user/letmeuse.2009-02-05 | cut -f1 | awk '{print substr($1,1,6)}'| sort -nr

    SUBSTR ka BAAP ::
    cat /home/girish/script/ReportTool/user/letmeuse.2009-02-05 | cut -c1-6 | awk '{print $1,"=",$2,",",$3}'

    mitLOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE ‘/tmp/tbl_change_2.sql’ INTO TABLE ‘tbl_operator_ip’ FIELDS TERMINATED BY ‘\t’ LINES TERMINATED BY ‘\n’;

    To Read Key And Value from the properties file……..

    KEY VALUE :: tail -1 temp |awk -F= 'END { printf "keys=%s\nvalues=%s\n", k, v }
    { k = k ? k s $1 : $1; v = v ? v s $2 : $2 }
    ' s="|"

  • sitharaAugust 16, 2009, 9:16 am

    Hai… thanks.Very good informations.

  • sonuSeptember 19, 2009, 12:11 pm

    i like you linux cammond

  • vadhiraj.A.KulkarniApril 29, 2010, 9:13 am

    Thanks alot for the facilities provided-:)

  • AnonymousJune 17, 2010, 8:51 pm

    Very good collection for UNIX/LINUX. Thank you.

  • kroger18October 24, 2010, 3:09 am


  • RashedJune 7, 2011, 11:34 am

    It is help ful for every body.

  • echo9July 8, 2011, 7:29 am

    Whoa! What an awesome collection!
    thx bro :)

  • RajNovember 10, 2011, 8:29 pm

    Can anyone tell me where I can take a shell scripting, perl, python course in Southern California.?

    • MeaDecember 19, 2011, 8:03 pm

      AWESOME :))))

  • shikharApril 17, 2012, 6:57 pm

    good information

  • RustyApril 24, 2012, 6:34 am

    Hey I really like the site but the collection of cheat sheets is a broken link

    • nixCraftApril 24, 2012, 12:46 pm

      It appears that two links are broken. I’ve removed the same.

      Thanks for the heads up!

  • Sonu GumbhirJune 7, 2012, 11:18 am

    This is very good collection. Thanks for it.

  • ranjit KandukuriJanuary 7, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Thanks it really worth…..

  • shashank agarwalMay 3, 2013, 11:18 am

    Reaaly good and helpful links.. i will refer all of you to go through these links its really worth to spend time in it..

  • RyanJuly 27, 2013, 2:15 am

    Another good tutorial if you want a comprehensive introduction to the Linux command line is :


  • maniAugust 23, 2014, 6:30 am

    thanks for good collections

  • C. BeerseMarch 3, 2015, 2:09 pm

    The missing cheat sheet: The manual pages! On the commandline try `man command` (as in `man man`) and see the details of the command.

  • gto76November 11, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Here is mine Linux cheatsheet text file if anybody’s iterested:

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