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Linux Mint Commands: A Cheatsheet For Linux Mint With Examples

gray laptop computer using the Intel i7 processor tier
Photo by Jordan Harrison on Pexels.com

By Nicholas Brown.

Linux Mint commands are not only for maintaining servers without GUIs. They are useful to personal computer users as well because they enable you to get things done faster in some cases. This is a continuously updated list of Linux Mint commands that provides examples of how to use the commands so that you can hit the ground running. Linux Mint is Ubuntu-based, therefore many of these commands will also work on Debian, Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions.

Disclaimer: Please note that you are solely responsible for what happens if you execute any of the Linux Mint commands herein, and that commands can do very different things dependent on the version of Linux Mint you are using, under which account the commands are executed among other reasons. Please exercise caution and do additional research if you are unsure about anything. Read Kompulsa’s disclaimer.

Note: ‘sudo’ is only required if you are not at a root shell.

Table Of Contents
Command To Install App In Linux Mint
Command To Uninstall A Package In Linux Mint
Editing Files
Viewing Files
How To Find Files On Linux Mint
Authentication: Login To An Account, Logout, Add Users, And More
File And Directory Operations
Download Files
Shutdown Or Reboot
Manage Processes
Other Commands

Install Software, Uninstall, And Search For it

The following Linux Mint command installs an app on Linux Mint via command line without the GUI. This example installs ‘htop’, a system resource monitor.

sudo apt install htop

Note: It is best to run ‘sudo apt update’ first.

The above method installs software using the Aptitude package manager [PDF] on Linux Mint. You can also use ‘dpkg’ to install software from a ‘.deb’ package you downloaded from outside the official Linux Mint repositories. For example: 

sudo dpkg -i appname.deb

What to do if you don’t know the exact name of the package? Let’s use ‘apt-cache search’ for that. See the following example in which we search for the Firefox development package.

sudo apt-cache search firefox dev

The output from the command shows the packages that most likely match that name:

firefox-dev - Safe and easy web browser from Mozilla - development files
libmozjs-91-dev - SpiderMonkey JavaScript library - development headers
cbindgen - Generates C bindings from Rust code
gnome-shell-extension-gsconnect-browsers - Browser support of KDE Connect implementation for GNOME Shell
html2wml - converts HTML pages to WML (WAP) or i-mode pages
libfirefox-marionette-perl - module to automate the Firefox browser with the Marionette protocol

There it is at the top! Now we can just install it by typing ‘sudo apt install firefox-dev’.

Uninstall A Package In Linux Mint Via Command Line

If you need to uninstall an app via command line on Linux Mint, use the command in the following example which removes ‘htop’. Note that this command does not cleanly remove all the files associated with an app. 

sudo apt remove htop

If you need to remove a package cleanly, including its data and configuration, add ‘–purge’ to the command. Note that the ‘purge’ command is more aggressive in its attempts to remove associated files. Please be careful which symbols you use with this command, as it could yield unexpected results.

sudo apt remove --purge htop

Upgrade all packages on your system, except those that weren’t installed via the repositories

sudo apt upgrade

Editing Files Via Command Line In Linux Mint

There are many Linux Mint commands you can use to edit files. However, the one that is most likely to work (even if you have a fresh installation of the OS and haven’t gotten the chance to install anything yet) is Nano. Type ‘nano [filename]’. You can also use ‘vi’.

nano filename.txt

Viewing Files Via Command Line In Linux Mint

One of the most common Linux Mint commands to view files is ‘less’. See the example of the ‘less’ command’s usage below to open the file ‘filename.txt’:

less filename.txt

You can also use ‘tail -f filename’ to view the end of a file. This is useful if you want to see the latest events in a large log file.

Locating Files In Linux Mint

You can find a file in Linux Mint that you need to edit or view using the ‘locate’ command as shown below. This is useful if you’re told to edit a certain configuration file but the person doesn’t tell you where it is on your machine. Note that you may need to run ‘sudo updatedb’ for it to work beforehand. Here’s an example of the ‘locate’ command’s usage:

locate pg_hba.conf

That command locates the ‘pg_hba.conf’ configuration file used by PostgreSQL and tells you which directory it is in.

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Authentication: Log In To A User Account On Linux Mint And Log Out

You can log into an account using the command line on Linux Mint by typing the ‘login’ command as shown in the following Linux authentication [PDF] example.

sudo login

It will prompt you with ‘[computername] login:‘ at which point you would enter the username you want to login as. Press enter when done and then enter the password.

To log out, type the following to return to the previous account you were logged in as:

logout

Create a user account via command line

sudo adduser new_user_name

Remove a user account

sudo deluser username

Change your password

passwd

View the groups your username is in on Linux Mint

groups

You can view the groups a different user is in as shown below

groups username

Open the sudoers file

If you need to open the sudoers file in order to add a username or alter sudo privileges, you can use the following command:

visudo

List files, their owners and permissions

ls -l

How to change ownership of a file

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File And Directory Operations

You can create a directory in Linux Mint via command line as shown in the example below that creates a directory named ‘mystuff’. Format ‘mkdir [new-directory-name]’:

mkdir mystuff

Enter a directory in Linux Mint via the command line

Format ‘cd [directoryname]’.

cd mystuff

The result should look like this:

username@computername:~/mystuff$

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How to rename a file or move it

Format ‘mv [existing_file_name] [new_file_name]’. ‘mv’ means ‘move’.

mv testfile.txt newfilename.txt

How to view the contents of a directory

Enter the directory and use the following command:

ls

How to remove a directory via the command line

Format: ‘rmdir [directory_name]’.

rmdir mystuff

If the directory is not empty, you will get the following error:

rmdir: failed to remove 'mystuff': Directory not empty

You can get around this by typing ‘rm -rf’ instead.

rm -rf mystuff

How to delete a file via command line

rm filename.txt

How to copy files on Linux Mint

The Linux Mint command to copy a file is ‘cp’. 

Format: ‘cp [source_file_to_copy] [new_file_name]’

Example usage:

cp testfile.txt testfilecopy.txt

How to move files on Linux Mint

The Linux Mint command to move a file is ‘mv’. 

Format: ‘mv [source_file_to_move] [destination_directory/file_name]’

Example usage:

mv testfile.txt new_directory/testfile.txt

Download files via the command line

You can download files via the command line using cUrl or wget. See the two examples below.

wget websitename.com/filename
curl -O websitename.com/filename

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Shutdown Or Reboot

To reboot the operating system:

sudo reboot

Shutdown the system now

sudo shutdown -h now

Check how long the system has been running/check uptime

uptime

Manage Processes And View System Resource Usage

View the RAM and CPU usage of each process

top

View virtual memory details

vmstat

Shut down a process

pkill process_name

The ‘pkill’ command sends the ‘SIGTERM’ command to the process to shut it down.

Check the status of a service to see if it is running, among other details

systemctl status process_name

Restart a service

sudo systemctl restart process_name

Stop a service

sudo systemctl stop process_name

Enable a service to run automatically at startup

sudo systemctl enable process_name

Stop a service from running on startup

sudo systemctl disable process_name

Get the IDs of a process

pgrep processname

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Other Commands

View the temperature of your CPU, SSD and other components

sensors

Clear the screen

tput clear

Display information about your computer’s BIOS and motherboard

sudo dmidecode

Create a RAMdisk on Linux

Execute the following commands in the sequence provided and change ‘4096M’ to the size in MB that you want the RAMdisk to be. Note that this disk is not persistent and will therefore be gone the next time you reboot.

sudo mkdir -p /media/ramdisk
sudo mount -t tmpfs -o size=4096M tmpfs /media/ramdisk

Connect to a server using SSH/SSH Login

ssh yourusername@serverdomain.com

Display your terminal command history

history

Delete your terminal command history

history -c

Further Reading

Restart An Apache Server On Linux

How To Restart Nginx Or Stop It From Running

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