Key/Command Description
Ctrl + A Go to the beginning of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + E Go to the end of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + L Clears the Screen
Command + K Clears the Screen
Ctrl + U Clears the line before the cursor position. If you are at the end of the line, clears the entire line.
Ctrl + H Same as backspace
Ctrl + R Lets you search through previously used commands
Ctrl + C Kill whatever you are running
Ctrl + D Exit the current shell
Ctrl + Z Puts whatever you are running into a suspended background process. fg restores it.
Ctrl + W Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + K Clear the line after the cursor
Ctrl + T Swap the last two characters before the cursor
Ctrl + F Move cursor one character forward
Ctrl + B Move cursor one character backward
Esc + F Move cursor one word forward
Esc + B Move cursor one word backward
Esc + T Swap the last two words before the cursor
Tab Auto-complete files and folder names


cd Home directory
cd [folder] Change directory
cd ~ Home directory, e.g. ‘cd ~/folder/’
cd / Root of drive
ls Short listing
ls -l Long listing
ls -a Listing incl. hidden files
ls -lh Long listing with Human readable file sizes
ls -R Entire content of folder recursively
sudo [command] Run command with the security privileges of the superuser (Super User DO)
open [file] Opens a file ( as if you double clicked it )
top Displays active processes. Press q to quit
nano [file] Opens the Terminal its editor
pico [file] Opens the Terminal its editor
q Exit
clear Clear screen


history n Shows the stuff typed – add a number to limit the last n items
ctrl-r Interactively search through previously typed commands
![value] Execute the last command typed that starts with ‘value’
!! Execute the last command typed


touch [file] Create new file
pwd Full path to working directory
.. Parent/enclosing directory, e.g.
‘ls -l ..’ = Long listing of parent directory
‘cd ../../’ = Move 2 levels up
. Current folder
cat Concatenate to screen
rm [file] Remove a file, e.g. rm [file] [file]
rm -i [file] Remove with confirmation
rm -r [dir] Remove a directory and contents
rm -f [file] Force removal without confirmation
rm -i [file] Will display prompt before
cp [file] [newfile] Copy file to file
cp [file] [dir] Copy file to directory
mv [file] [new filename] Move/Rename, e.g. mv -v [file] [dir]


mkdir [dir] Create new directory
mkdir -p [dir]/[dir] Create nested directories
rmdir [dir] Remove directory ( only operates on empty directories )
rm -R [dir] Remove directory and contents

PIPES – Allows to combine multiple commands that generate output

more Output content delivered in screensize chunks
> [file] Push output to file, keep in mind it will get overwritten
>> [file] Append output to existing file
< Tell command to read content from a file


[command] -h Offers help
[command] —help Offers help
[command] help Offers help
reset Resets the terminal display
man [command] Show the help for ‘command’
whatis [command] Gives a one-line description of ‘command’