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Linux Command Line Basics

Free Course

Getting Started with the Shell

Related Nanodegree Program

Introduction to Programming

About this course

We have built this course for beginners who have no experience with the Linux system and the command-line interface.

In this course, you'll learn the basics of the command line interface of a Linux server: the terminal and shell (GNU Bash). This course includes an introduction to files and directories in the Linux filesystem.

What you will learn

  1. Get Into the Shell
    • Learn about the terminal user interface.
    • See how you can interact with a Linux server using shell commands.
  2. Shell Commands
    • Different kinds of shell commands that work with the terminal in different ways
    • Use the Linux manual (manpages) to expand your knowledge of shell commands.
  3. The Linux Filesystem
    • Working with files and directories is a big part of using the shell.
    • Learn basic commands for interacting with the filesystem.

Prerequisites and requirements

To take this course, you should have beginner-level experience in a programming languages such as Python or JavaScript. While this course does not involve doing any programming, it does use concepts that are familiar to the beginning programmer such as "function", "expression", and "string".

Note: This course is intended for beginners to the shell environment. If you have done shell scripting or other extensive use of the shell before, this course will probably be too introductory for you. You might want to check out our Configuring Linux Web Servers course.

See the Technology Requirements for using Udacity.

Why take this course?

Most servers on the Internet today run on Linux or other Unix-like systems. Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting often relies on the command line interface. This, accordingly, is foundational web knowledge, and in fact many of our intermediate and advanced courses rely on a familiarity with the command-line interface to run servers, work with version control systems and more.

Learn with the best.

  • Philip Mallory
    Philip Mallory


  • Karl Krueger
    Karl Krueger