Bash: System Commands

3 minute read


These commands have to do with system resources, user accounts, permissions, ect.

User commands

To change owners for files

# -R in this case is recursive
chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/*

To add a group:

groupadd newGroup

To change group membership for files

chgrp (groupname) files

# Change the owning group of /office/files, and all subdirectories, to the group staff.
chgrp -hR staff /office/files

To change access permissions
chmod (mode) files # see here for more examples

chmod -R 777 root /var/www/html

# Commonly used to run scripts you create
chmod +x /path/to/your/filename.extension

# Commonly used to secure a file or directory
chmod 644

To see your user id

# id (username) - view uid, guid, and groups
id gerry

To add a new user:

useradd newUser

To delete a user:

# Remove root privileges if needed.
 userdel newUsersudo visudo

To add your user to a group:

usermod -a -G (groupname) username

# other options

To see permissions for a file


To list all groups

lid -g (groupname)

To list all users

cut -d: -f1 /etc/passwd
awk -F'[/:]' '{if ($3 >= 1000 && $3 != 65534) print $1}' /etc/passwd

Or this link

To list actively logged on users


Add user to sudo:

# If the user doesn't have rights you either need to add to /etc/sudoers file 
# Or add to wheel group: 
adduser testUser
usermod -aG wheel testUser
usermod -aG sudo testUser

System commands (to be ran as root)

To run a command as root

# Most common command you will probably use
sudo (command)

# Just type this command by itself to run all other command past it as root. 
# Then type "exit" to get back to your user prompt.

To install an application (depending on the package manager and distro):

# Installs a Linux application, in this case – xchat or IRC.
sudo apt-get install xchat

# For CentOS
sudo yum install xchat

# For Fedora
sudo dnf install xchat

To Add A New Path To Path Variable:

This order from all users to most specific

PATH="$PATH:/opt/puppetlabs/bin";export PATH

To remove software:

sudo yum remove (packageName)

# Removes a couple programs at once
sudo yum remove orca gedit evince empathy 

# Remove all packages that don't have dependencies:
# Shows them
sudo package-cleanup --leaves 
# Removes them
sudo yum remove `package-cleanup --leaves`

To change a password for a user

# If left blank, changes current users password
passwd (username)
passwd root

To change the date

date (options)

# Change the year but keep the same time
date -s "2014-12-25 $(date +%H:%M:%S)"

To Shutdown

shutdown -h now

# Shuts down at 12:30
shutdown -h 12:30

To logout


To Reboot

shutdown -r

Interesting article between shutdown, halt, and poweroff

To start a service

sudo systemctl start httpd

To see a service status

sudo systemctl status httpd

To set a service to run on startup

sudo systemctl enable httpd

# This enables the ssh service to start on runtime
update-rc.d ssh enable

To restart a service

sudo systemctl restart httpd

To have a GUI for services:

# Use spacebar to enable whichever you want. You can also run “sysv-rc-conf”. These are called TGUI programs.

# For Debian based: 
sudo rcconf

# For SysV Services (RPM based): 
sudo ntsysv

# For SystemD Services (default): 
systemctl list-unit-files | less | grep enabled

# For almost any Linux distro: 
chkconfig --list

To open a port on your firewall

# Check which zones are active
firewall-cmd get-active-zones

# Add the port
firewall-cmd permanent zone=public add-port=3389/tcp

# Reload the firewall
firewall-cmd reload

To close a port on your firewall

# Check which zones are active
firewall-cmd get-active-zones

# Remove the port
firewall-cmd permanent zone=public remove-port=3389/tcp

# Reload the firewall
firewall-cmd reload

To View Credentials to Shares/ Passwords if you are using Nautilus.



To see a history of your commands


To clear the screen


To see a calendar of a previous year

cal 2010