What is the story behind the name of many commands

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SprinterDriver
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What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby SprinterDriver » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:34 pm

Hi all.

I've bearly scratched the surface of Linux, playing around with some different distros lately. Now it probably seems that I got a question for a problem I cannot solve, no I got a kind of stupid one question, hard to compress in an meaningfull sentence and is of no technically character - I think not.

Many commands as lshw, cp mv is remembered easilly because I easilly see the short form of "list hardware", "copy", "move", etc. But then there is commands like "Inxi", "chmod" and "htop" that I just remember because those are very short in terms of characters. What thumb rules can be used to remember commands?
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Flemur
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Flemur » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:49 pm

SprinterDriver wrote:What thumb rules can be used to remember commands?

Pretty much by using them, I think.

Here's a list of bash commands, which are the standard commands you'll get whenever you have a terminal running the bash shell (namely any linux with bash):
https://ss64.com/bash/
Note that lshw and inxi aren't there - other non-bash commands are programs that are somewhere in your $PATH.
IIRC, Ubuntu, e.g., doesn't supply inxi by default.
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xenopeek
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby xenopeek » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:58 pm

SprinterDriver wrote:What thumb rules can be used to remember commands?

There aren't any such rules. Somebody writes a utility and gives it a name. Sometimes easy to remember like cp (copy), mv (move), and chmod (change mode) but sometimes less so like htop (Hisham's top). If you want, keep a cheat sheet for yourself with your frequently used commands. Like with anything else, the more time you spend with it the easier it becomes to remember. I recommend http://write.flossmanuals.net/command-l ... roduction/ to become more comfortable on the terminal and with the available manuals.

Or take some time to study the apropos command. apropos -s 1 process for example will list all commands that do something with processes. You'll find the usual suspects like htop, ps, top there. It's not always perfect but apropos will usually let you find some command you forget the name of but remember the function of. See man man for explanation of the manual sections. Usually you will find commands in section 1 hence I make that explicit so that you don't get all the system and library calls (in sections 2 and 3) that have something to do with processes.

You can of course also look through your command history (with command history).
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Cosmo.
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Cosmo. » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Flemur wrote:Pretty much by using them, I think.

In other words: Learning by doing.

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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Portreve » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:40 pm

If you want your mind blown a bit further, SprinterDriver, try this...
sudo apt-get moo
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Penn » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:55 pm

Portreve wrote:If you want your mind blown a bit further, SprinterDriver, try this...
sudo apt-get moo

Seen that one a few times. One I don't think gets enough sharing

Code: Select all

fortune


If you don't like the first result, try it again.

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jimallyn
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby jimallyn » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:56 pm

There is no rule to remember them by. I use apropos a lot when I need the command line. And I have installed a couple of Linux command line references on my Android phone.
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby slipstick » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:09 pm

I read somewhere that "grep" originally was an abbreviation for "global regular expression print".
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby austin.texas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:32 pm

Portreve wrote:If you want your mind blown a bit further, SprinterDriver, try this...
sudo apt-get moo


Code: Select all

user@skynet1 ~ $ apt moo
                 (__)
                 (oo)
           /------\/
          / |    || 
         *  /\---/\
            ~~   ~~ 
..."Have you mooed today?".

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude moo
There are no Easter Eggs in this program.

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -v  moo
There really are no Easter Eggs in this program.

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -vv  moo
Didn't I already tell you that there are no Easter Eggs in this program?

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -vvv  moo
Stop it!

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -vvvv  moo
Okay, okay, if I give you an Easter Egg, will you go away?

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -vvvvv  moo
All right, you win.

                               /----\
                       -------/      \
                      /               \
                     /                |
   -----------------/                  --------\
   ----------------------------------------------

Code: Select all

user@skynet1:~$ aptitude -vvvvvv  moo
What is it?  It's an elephant being eaten by a snake, of course.
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SprinterDriver
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby SprinterDriver » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:52 pm

Haha, those easter eggs (btw why cow and where is the tuxie ?) :D

Thanks for answers guys :D
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Hoser Rob
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Hoser Rob » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:01 pm

I've always thought the commands were so short and cryptic because most of those old school Unix guys were the type who prefer typing at arm's length with one finger.

SprinterDriver
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby SprinterDriver » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:00 pm

Hoser Rob wrote:I've always thought the commands were so short and cryptic because most of those old school Unix guys were the type who prefer typing at arm's length with one finger.

It is impossible to write CP on my keybard with one finger without either moving the hand, or using both hands. Well I can use my pinky and index finger and barely reach both, but that is really bad for the typing speed :mrgreen:
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Lysander666
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Lysander666 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:20 am

Cosmo. wrote:
Flemur wrote:Pretty much by using them, I think.

In other words: Learning by doing.


in other words, experiential learning.
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Hoser Rob
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Re: What is the story behind the name of many commands

Postby Hoser Rob » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:33 pm

SprinterDriver wrote:
Hoser Rob wrote:I've always thought the commands were so short and cryptic because most of those old school Unix guys were the type who prefer typing at arm's length with one finger.

It is impossible to write CP on my keybard with one finger without either moving the hand, or using both hands. Well I can use my pinky and index finger and barely reach both, but that is really bad for the typing speed :mrgreen:


Programmers don't necessarily worry about typing speed. If you're a fast typist and you enter code at fast typing speed your programs will never work.


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