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16 Handy Linux Terminal Tips and Tricks for Streamlined Command-Line Usage

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  1. Use Tab for autocompletion: In the Linux terminal, you can use the Tab key to automatically complete commands, file names, and directories. For example, if you need to enter the command "cd Documents," you can type "cd Doc" and then press Tab to have the terminal automatically complete the folder name.

  2. Command history: You can use the up and down arrow keys to browse and repeat previous commands you entered in the terminal.

  3. Utilize Ctrl+R: This key combination allows you to perform a reverse search in the command history. Simply press Ctrl+R and start typing a keyword or phrase, and the terminal will find the latest command containing that sequence of characters.

  4. Multi-cursor editing: Some Linux terminals like GNOME Terminal or Terminator support using the Shift+Alt key combination along with a mouse click to create multiple cursors in different parts of the text. This can be useful for simultaneously editing multiple lines of code or files.

  5. Function keys: Function keys (F1-F12) in the terminal can be customized to perform various actions. For example, you can set up F2 to quickly execute a specific command or script.

  6. Create custom command shortcuts: You can configure your own command shortcuts to execute frequently used commands or scripts. This can be done using the alias utility or by configuring the ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile files.

  7. Terminal multiplexers: Terminal multiplexers like tmux or screen allow you to create and manage multiple virtual terminals within a single physical terminal. This can be useful if you want to work with multiple terminal sessions simultaneously or leave a task running in the background.

  8. Use Ctrl+C to interrupt command execution: If a command you run in the terminal is taking too long or appears to be stuck, you can press Ctrl+C to interrupt its execution.

  9. Use Ctrl+D to exit the terminal: When you're finished working in the terminal, you can type Ctrl+D or the exit command to exit the current terminal session.

  10. Clear the screen: Use Ctrl+L or the clear command to clear the terminal screen and get a clean workspace.

  11. Suspend command execution: Press Ctrl+Z to suspend the execution of the current command. The command will be paused, and you'll return to the command prompt. You can then resume the command by typing fg to continue in the foreground or bg to continue in the background.

  12. Move the cursor: Use Ctrl+A to move the cursor to the beginning of the line and Ctrl+E to move it to the end of the line. This can be helpful when editing long commands.

  13. Utilize environment variables: In Linux, you can use environment variables to store and pass data between commands and scripts. For example, the $HOME variable contains the path to your home directory, and the $PATH variable contains the paths to executable files. You can use the echo command to view the value of a variable, such as echo $HOME.

  14. Use grep for text searching: The grep command allows you to search for text in files or the output of other commands. For example, grep "keyword" filename searches for the specified keyword in the given file.

  15. Redirect output with |: The pipe symbol (|) allows you to redirect the output of one command to the input of another command. For example, ls -l | grep "keyword" only displays lines containing the keyword from the output of the ls -l command.

  16. Use find to locate files: The find command enables you to search for files based on various criteria, such as file name, type, size, and more. For example, find /path/to/search -name "filename" searches for files with the specified name in the given path.

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