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10 Command

10 Command

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Published by Lanre Ojelabi

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Published by: Lanre Ojelabi on Jul 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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10 command
line tools that refuse to die
By Jack Wallen  May 20, 2012, 10:50 AM PDTTakeaway: Despite the abundance of GUIs, the command line still offers more power, flexibility,and control for certain tasks.Some people think the command line is an outdated mode of usage and administration. Others
say they couldn’t live without it. I’m caught somewhere in the middle. There are certain
commands for which I have faithful GUI tools. But there are other commands I will never bewithout, so long as there is a command prompt to take them.What commands could possibly be irreplaceable? Is there really such an animal? You bet thereis. Some of them are Linux/UNIX commands, some of them are Windows commands, and someof them are platform-independent.But why commands? Simple. Commands give you the most control over the task at hand.
Generally speaking, there is less restriction on what a tool can do when it’s run as a command.
This power, naturally, comes with a price
users needs a better understanding of a tool when
they run it as a command instead of via a GUI. That’s okay, because the power and usefulness
these tools offer make up for having to learn a few switches.
1: Ping
Ping is the workhorse go-
to tool anytime there’s a network issue. When I can’t get connected, thefirst tool I use is ping. We all know ping; we all love ping. It’s a universal tool, available onnearly every platform. Anyone who isn’t familiar with ping should have their IT c
ard revokedand their hand repeated slapped with a Cat5 cable.
2: Traceroute
Traceroute lets you trace a network route and measure transit delays from hop to hop. This tool is
second to ping when you’re trying to resolve issues with a network connection. W
here ping tells
you if you’re up, traceroute can tell you where there’s a problem. The only disadvantage of 
Traceroute is that you must have a working network connection to use it. Yes, there are GUIs forthis. But the command-
line version can’t be beat.
3: Killall
Killall is one mean mother of a tool. In Linux land, if an application is locked and you can’t get itto go away, Killall will get you out of that bind. It’s powerful, so it should (as you would expect)
be used with caution. And yes, you can kill processes through various GUI tools. But nonewields the mighty power of the killall command.
4: Taskkill
Taskkill is the Windows version of killall. As an Acronis administrator, I have found taskkill tobe invaluable. There are times when the mms.exe com
mand simply can’t be stopped in theServices GUI. When that’s the case, the only way to kill mms.exe (short of rebooting the server)
is to use taskkill. Of course, you should always try to kill an application through the Task Manager (or a service through Services) first. But when that fails, try taskkill.
5: Tar
Tar is the bread-and-butter archival tool for UNIX and Linux. There are others, but none (in myopinion) is as good as tar. Tar is an incredibly useful tool that can be used in scripts (such asbackup scripts), cron jobs, and much more. Linux offers a number of other archival tools(bunzip2, zip, gzip, etc.), but tar is the one I immediately go to every time.
6: Chmod
Chmod is the Mac Daddy for UNIX/Linux permissions. If you have any intention of being aUNIX/Linux administrator, you should know chmod inside and out, backward and forward. Thistool will become one of your best friends, and you will use it often. Sure, you can changepermissions with a GUI. But when you have to change permissions on a large scale or on
files/folders that require root access, you must know chmod. Otherwise, you’re going to be
logging into a GUI as the root user
and that’s not a good decision to make at any time.
7: Chown
Chown is to ownership what chmod is to permissions. Every file and folder on a Linux systemhas an owner. Who that owner is will determine who can access the file or folder. The chowncommand is another must-know command for any UNIX/Linux administrator. Again, there areGUIs for this command. But the command itself is far more flexible and faster to use than firingup a GUI and hoping you can do everything you need to do.

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