Day 5 Notes on “Learn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career” by Jason Cannon on Udemy

Day 5

Environment Variables

Viewing environment variables:

printenv – Viewing the environment variables.
printenv HOME – Only variable of HOME will be displayed, for example something like this: “/home/philipp”.
echo $HOME – Does the same thing.
Environment values are case sensitive.

Creating environment variables:

export VAR="value"
For example:
export EDITOR="vi"
export TZ="US/Pacific"
If this variable already exists, this will override.

Remove environment variables:

unset VAR
For example:
unset TZ

man date – Look into the manual of the “date” command. Scroll down to the bottom where there is an ENVIRONMENT section.

NOTE: Those changes are only valid for the currently running session. If you want to make these changes persist, you need to write them to for example .bash_profile. So, for example, add “export TZ=”US/Pacific” to the file.

Process and Job Control

ps – Display the currently running processes.
ps -e – Everything, all processes.
ps -f – Full format listing.
ps -u username – Display username’s processes.
ps -p pid – Display information for a specific PID (Process Identification Number, example 1530).
ps -ef – Dsiplay all processes, full.
ps -eH – Display a process tree.
ps -e --forest – Display a process tree.
ps -ef | less – A full listing piped to less.

UID – User.
PID – Process Identification.
PPID – Parent Process Identification.
STIME – Time the process started.
CMD – Command name.

Other ways to view processes:

pstree – Display processes in a tree format.
top – Interactive process viewer.
htop – Interactive process viewer.

Backgound and foreground processes:

command & – Start command in background.
Ctrl-c – Kill the foreground process.
Ctrl-z – Suspend the foreground process.
bg [%num] – Background a suspended process.
fg [%num] – Foreground a background process.
kill – Kill a process by job number or PID.
jobs [%num] – List jobs.

Killing processes:

Ctrl-c – Kills the foreground process.
kill [-sig] pid – Send a signal to a process.
kill -l – Display a list of signals.

kill 123
kill -15 123
kill -TERM 123
kill -9 123

For example:
./long-running-program & – Start job in the background.
ps -p 2373 – Display information for this job.
jobs – List jobs.
jobs %1

fg %2 – Bring job number 2 to the foreground.
kill %1 – Kill job number 1.

kill -l – To see al the signals we can send to the kill command.

kill -9 [%num] – For a hard to kill process.
kill -KILL

Scheduling Repeated Jobs with Cron

cron – A time based job scheduling service.
crontab – A program to create, read, update, and delete your job schedules.
Use cron to schedule and automate tasks.

* * * * * command
*1 Minute (0-6)
*2 Hour (1-12)
*3 Day of the Month (1-31)
*4 Month of the Year (0-23)
*5 Day of the Week (0-59)

Example crontab entry:
0 7 * * 1 /opt/sales/bin/weekly-report – Run every Monday at 07:00.

0,15,30,45 * * * * /opt/acme/bin/15-min-check – Run every 15 minutes.

*/15 * * * * /opt/acme/bin/15-min-check – Another way to do the same thing.

0-4 * * * * /opt/acme/bin/first-five-mins – Run for the first 5 minutes of the hour.

Crontab Shortcuts:

@yearly – 0 0 1 1 *
@annually – 0 0 1 1 *
@monthly – 0 0 1 * *
@weekly – 0 0 * * 0
@daily – 0 0 * * *
@midnight – 0 0 * * *
@hourly – 0 * * * *

For more shortcuts run man cron.

Using the crontab command:

crontab file – Install a new crontab from file.
crontab -l – To list all cron jobs.
crontab -e – To edit cron jobs.
crontab -r – Remove all of your cron jobs.

Switching Users and Running Commands as Others

su [username] – Change user ID or become superuser.
su - [username] – A hyphen is used to provide an environment similar to what the user would expect had the user logged in directly.
su -c 'command' [username] – Specify a command to be executed.
whoami – Displays the effective username.

sudo – Execute a command as another user, typically the superuser (sudo – superuser do).
sudo -l – List available commands.
sudo command – Run command as root.
sudo -u root command – Same as above.
sudo -u user command – Run as user.
sudo su – Switch to the superuser account.
sudo su - – Switch to the superuser account with root’s environment.
sudo su - username – Switch to the username account.
sudo -s – Start a shell or switch to the root account.
sudo -u root -s – Same as sudo -s.
sudo -u user -s – Start a shell as user.

sudo /etc/init.d/orcale start – Start application called oracle.

visudo – Changing the sudo configuration, i.e. the /etc/sudoers file.

Sudoers Format:

user host=(users)[NOPASSWD:]commands
philipp linuxsvr=(root) /etc/init.d/oracle

Shell History

1. Executed commands are added to the history.
2. Shell history can be displayed and recalled.
3. Shell history is stored in memory and on disk:

  • ~/.bash_history
  • ~/.history
  • ~/.histfile

history – Displays the shell history.
HISTSIZE – Controls the number of commands to retain in history.
export HISTSIZE=1000 – To increase the size of history.

!N – Repeat command in line number N.
!! – Repeat the previous command line.
!string – Repeat the most recent command starting with “string”.

Format: !:N
! – Represents a command line (or event).
! = The most recent command line.
! = !!

:N – Represents a word on the command line.
0 = command, 1 = first argument, etc.

!^ – Represents the first argument.
!^ = !:1

!$ – Represents the last argument.
For example:
head files.txt sorted_files.txt notes.txt
!^ = files.txt
!$ = notes.txt

Searching shell history

Ctrl-r – Reverse shell history search.
Enter – Execute the command.
Arrows – Change the command
Ctrl-g – Cancel the search

Tab completion

Autocomplete with tab works for: commands, files, directories, paths, environment variables, usernames (~).

Installing Software on Linux


  • A collection of files
  • Data / Metadata: Package description, Version, Dependencies.

Package Manager

  • Installs, upgrades, and removes packages.
  • Manages dependencies.
  • Keeps track of what is installed.

Installing Software on RPM Distros

  • RedHat
  • CentOS
  • Fedora
  • Oracle Linux
  • Scientific Linux

yum command line utility

yum search string – Search for string.
yum info [package] – Display info of package.
yum install [-y] package – Install package.
yum remove package – Remove package.
Alternatively use rpm.
rpm -qa – Lista ll installed packages.
rpm -qf /path/to/file – List the file’s package.
rpm -ql package – List package’s files.
rpm -ivh package.rpm – Install package.
rpm -e package – Erase (uninstall) package.

Sudo privileges are often necessary to install packages. For example:
yum info inkscape
su - – Switch to root user (sudo).
yum install inkscape – Install Inkscape.
y and Enter.
You can also type yum install -y gimp, so you will not have to answer with a y interactively.
yum remove gimp – Remove gimp.
yum search dropbox – Search if DropBox is in the package manager of the current distribution.
So you have to down the DropBox .rpm file from and install it like so:rpm -ivh dropbox.rpm-ivh for additional progress.
rpm -qa | sort | less – Show all installed packages on the system.
which which – Display what program which belongs to.
rpm -ql which – Display what other things are in a particular package.

Installing software on DEB Distros

  • Debian
  • Linux Mint
  • Ubuntu

Debian based distributions use a package manager called APT.
apt-cache search string – Search for string.
apt-get install [-y] package – Install package.
apt-get remove package – Remove package, leaving configuration.
apt-get purge package – Remove package, deleting configuration.
apt-cache show package – Display information about package.
Additionally the dpkg command can be used to communicate with the package manager.
dpkg -l – List installed packages.
dpkg -S /path/to/file – List file’s package.
dpkg -L package – List all files in package.
dpkg -i package.deb – Install package.
NOTE: .deb file is the package ending for Ubuntu.

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