Thursday, October 15, 2009

Useful Commands in Ubuntu

A comprehensive list of commands needed when using Ubuntu:

Command privileges.

sudo command - run command as root
sudo su – root shell open
sudo su user – open shell as a user
sudo -k – forget your password sudo
gksudo command – sudo visual dialog (GNOME)
kdesudo command – sudo visual dialog (KDE)
sudo visudo – edit / etc / sudoers
gksudo nautilus – root file manager (GNOME)
kdesudo konqueror – root file manager (KDE)
passwd – change your password

Command Network

ifconfig – displays information network
iwconfig – displays information from wireless
sudo iwlist scan – scan wireless networks
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart – reset the network
(file) /etc/network/interfaces – manual configuration
ifup interface – bring online interface
ifdown interface – disable interface

Commands Display

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart – reset X (Gnome)
sudo /etc/init.d/kdm restart – reset X (KDE)
(file) /etc/X11/xorg.conf – show Configuration
sudo dpkg-reconfigure - reconfigure xserver-xorg-phigh - reset configuration X
Ctrl+Alt+Bksp – X display reset if frozen
Ctrl+Alt+FN – switch to tty N
Ctrl+Alt+F7 – switch back to X display

Commands Service System.

start service – service to start work (Upstart)
stop service – service to stop working (Upstart)
status service – check if service is running (Upstart)
/etc/init.d/service start – start service (SysV)
/etc/init.d/service stop – stop service (SysV)
/etc/init.d/service status – check service (SysV)
/etc/init.d/service restart – reset service (SysV)
runlevel – get current runlevel

Commands for Firewall.

ufw enable – turn on the firewall
ufw disable – turn off the firewall
ufw default allow – allow all connections by default
ufw default deny – drop all connections by default
ufw status – current rules and
ufw allow port – to allow traffic on port
ufw deny port – port block
ufw deny from ip – ip block

Command System.

lsb_release -a – get the version of Ubuntu
uname -r – get kernel version
uname -a – get all the information kernel

Commands for Package Manager.

apt-get update – refresh updates available
apt-get upgrade – update all packages
apt-get dist-upgrade – version update
apt-get install pkg – installing pkg
apt-get remove pkg – uninstall pkg
apt-get autoremove – removing packages obsotletos
apt-get -f install – try to fix packages
dpkg –configure -a – try to fix a broken package
dpkg -i pkg.deb – install file pkg.deb
(file) /etc/apt/sources.list – list of repositories APT

Special Packages For commands.

ubuntu-desktop – Setting the standard Ubuntu
kubuntu-desktop – KDE Desktop
xubuntu-desktop – desktop XFCE
ubuntu-minimal – core earnings Ubuntu
ubuntu-standard – the standard utilities Ubuntu
ubuntu-restricted-extras – not free, but useful
kubuntu-restricted-extras – ditto KDE
xubuntu-restricted-extras – ditto XFCE
build-essential – packages used to compile
linux-image-generic – latest generic kernel image
linux-headers-generic – latest headlines

Applications commands.

nautilus – File Manager (GNOME)
dolphin – File Manager (KDE)
konqueror – Web browser (KDE)
kate – text editor (KDE)
gedit – text editor (GNOME)


  1. Here there are more, that can be run from the run dialog, that appears pushing the F2 key while holding ALT:

    The ones not present above:

    eog : Eye of GNOME (image viewer)

    file-roller : File Roller (archive manager)

    gcalctool : gcalctool (calculator)

    gconf-editor : Configuration Editor (user preferences and system configuration data editor for the GNOME Desktop and many applications)

    gnome-control-center : GNOME Control Center (control panel)

    gnome-search-tool : Search for Files (file searcher)

    gnome-session-save –logout-dialog : “Log Out of the Session” dialog (to finish or close the session; or to switch or change the user)

    gnome-session-save –shutdown-dialog : “Shut Down the Computer” dialog (to turn the computer off, reboot it, suspend it or hibernate it)

    gnome-terminal : GNOME Terminal (terminal emulator)

    gucharmap or gnome-character-map : GNOME Character Map

    setxkbmap xx : change the keyboard layout (xx can be it or gb or es or fr …)

    totem : Totem (movie player; also plays audios)

    xcalc : xcalc (calculator)

    xset dpms force off : turns the screen off (useful for laptops)

    xterm : xterm (terminal emulator)

    NB: from the run dialog (Alt+F2) we can also type the address of a folder so Nautilus opens in that place. For example if we enter /etc Nautilus opens in this directory. There is no need to type nautilus.

  2. More commands:
    gucharmap or gnome-character-map : GNOME Character Map
    setxkbmap xx : change the keyboard layout (xx can be it or gb or es or fr ...)
    onboard : onscreen keyboard
    onboard-settings : configure Onboard
    ooffice or :
    ooffice -draw or -draw : Draw
    ooffice -calc or -calc : Calc
    ooffice -impress or -impress : Impress
    ooffice -writer or -writer : Writer
    ooffice -math or -math : Math

    gnome-calculator opens also gcalctool

    The GNOME Character Map can also be opened just with this short command:

  3. Another one:
    simple-scan : Simple Scan

  4. Another one:
    usb-creator-gtk : Ubuntu Live USB creator

    Many more:

  5. Another one:
    alacarte : Main Menu (select which applications we want to appear in the main menu)
    This one doesn’t work in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Anyone knows any alternative command for this in this 12 version?

    Another 2, related to the keyboard:
    gnome-keyboard-properties : Keyboard Preferences
    gnome-keybinding-properties : Keyboard Shortcuts
    These 2 ones don’t work in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. In this version, from the control panel you have a Keyboard option where you can both change keyboard settings (layouts, …) and keybindings (shortcuts). Anyone knows which terminal command can open this Keyboard dialog directly in the 12 version?

    Another command:
    gnome-system-monitor : System Monitor (System -info about the system: installed version of Ubuntu, hardware, …-, Processes -we can view and end them from here-, Resources -monitor of CPU, memory, …- and File Systems)