Some of this was inspired by this post. First let’s talk navigating linux. I’m assuming you are familiar with the ls command. Let’s look at it a little further by exploring it’s options and setting and alias. It’s common for ll to be aliased as ls -lh which is more useful than the ls command alone. I typically like to add -a as well to show files preceded with a dot (.). Which essentially means show hidden files. The alias for that would look like alias ll="ls -hal". In addition to the ls command you can use tree to show more directory information. Here is a good article on understanding permissions.

To add the user steve and set password use the commands below.

sudo useradd steve

sudo passwd steve

This will create a new user according to /etc/default/useradd file.

Entries are added to /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/group and /etc/gshadow.

It is common for a home directory to be created when adding a new user. For the sake of exercise I want to create the directory and set the permissions myself. Let’s start by switching to the new user su steve. This will change us to the newly created user. Now try to create /home/steve. You will be unable to do so as the steve user. Instead you will have to use sudo. This will set the user and group owner as root. After creating the directory run the commands below to change the owner and group.

sudo chown steve /home/steve/

sudo chown :users /home/steve

Now let’s download some files to play around with to continue learning linux. Use the commands below to download the Linux Pocket Guide and unzip it.


I played around with using different file names to see if it would change the digital hash. I tested this using the sha1sum command after downloading it on different machines with different names. Each returned the same signature db2ed9e750930beb4ed0850f143cdcb5b39312c4

sha1sum LPG-stuff.tar.gz

Now use the command below to unzip and extract the contents. Hence the extension .tar (tarball) .gz (gzip)

tar -xf LPG-stuff.tar.gz

Copy the the contents to other directories to really familiarize yourself with the cp, scp, and rsync. Know how and when to use each one. I recommend using rsync to copy files to and from a remote server. Understand the difference between a hardlink and a softlink. Hardlink and softlink files that you just downloaded. Use the ls -i command to show the inode number and see how it is the same for softlink data. You can also use readlink -f to show the root file of a linked file.

Need to include find

find / -name "passwd" find files containing passwd

find / -name "*.txt" find files with extension .txt