How to navigate the Terminal in Ubuntu

The first thing I discovered after my crossover from Windows was that I have to make the Ubuntu Terminal my friend. I have been running away from the DOS prompt since I first learnt Windows back in 2002. Since then I have always been assisted by UI replacements to do all the work I should have been using the Terminal for. But after Ubuntu happened, I have had to use the Terminal pretty regularly for everything. So, I decided to put together a small list of commands I learned in the first few days I have started using Ubuntu:

The Ubuntu Terminal can be found in Applications » Accessories » Terminal. A terminal is in a way very similar to a file manager in that it’s always inside a specific folder and is able to navigate to other folders and do regular file management. By default it’s inside my home folder when I run it. To confirm that my terminal is indeed browsing my home folder, I need to type pwd ending with a press on enter. The pwd command outputs the path to the current folder.

If I want to see a list of files and directories inside the current directory, I need to run the command “ls”. If I want to navigate up the directory tree, I run “cd ..”(cd space dot dot.) If I want to navigate down the directory tree, I run “cd directoryName” where directoryName is the name of the folder I want to navigate to. For example: if I am inside my home folder and there’s a directory called “movies” inside it, I will have to run “cd movies” to go into that directory. If I want to go back I have to run “cd ..”(cd space dot dot.) If I ever get lost all I have to do is run “cd” by itself; this will take me back to my home folder.

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