Why do all the sudo? [was Re: Software updater no longer functional]

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Sat Jan 28 12:23:08 UTC 2017

On Sat, 2017-01-28 at 12:37 +0100, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Jan 2017 10:47:29 +0200, Charles IRONS wrote:
> > There may be advantage in using terminal commands for some
> > problems. What sources could I study to gradually learn more?
> there are some good guides available. Maybe the order they are listed
> by Google is close to their popularity

I find that that one good way to learn is to pick a simple task and
figure out how to do it using the target technology. This is the idea
behind "Hullo World!" programs. You take a task where you know the
inputs, outputs and expected results very well, so you are not having
to learn about the task itself, only the means of achieving it.

For example, if you generally use Nautilus to copy files from one
directory to another, try figuring out how to do it on the command

If you can, experiment on a computer that you can treat as disposable.
Virtual machines are ideal.

Google is probably a better first stop for info than man pages. As you
gain experience you will find that man pages make more sense and become
more useful.

Here are the top ten commands to learn about; they will give you
maximum bang-for-buck:

cd - change directory
ls - list files
cp - copy files from place to place
mv - move files from place to place
rm - remove files and directories (be careful!)
man - look at the doco for a command
apropos - find doco ("man apropos" to start :-)
less - read a text file
grep - look for patterns in text output
sudo - execute a command as root (be careful!)

And you should google for information about the following concepts.
Work at them until you understand them, they are all related and they
form the basis of ALL non-trivial use of the Unix command line:

standard input
standard output
standard error

Have fun :-)

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)

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