Chapter 24. Working with the Shell

Table of Contents

Introduction to Bash
Files and Directories
Bash Functions
Specifying Paths
Wild Cards
More or Less
Archives and Data Compression
Cleaning Up
Users and Access Permissions
File System Permissions
Modifying File Permissions
The setuid Bit
The setgid Bit
The Sticky Bit
Access Control Lists
Important Linux Commands
File Commands
System Commands
The vi Editor


Graphical user interfaces are increasingly becoming important for Linux, but using the mouse is not always the best way to perform daily tasks. The command line readily provides high flexibility and efficiency. The first part of this chapter provides an introduction to the Bash shell. It is followed by an explanation of the user permissions concept in Linux and a list of the most important commands. The chapter closes with a description of the vi text editor.


Text-based applications are especially important for controlling older Linux computers that do not have the resources for demanding display systems. Virtual consoles are used in this case. Six of them are available in text mode. Press Alt + F1 through Alt + F6. The seventh console is reserved for X.