The command line, or terminal, is a text only interface that lets you work on an operating system or server. It takes some time to learn to use the command line, but learning it means you’ll get more work done faster. Many common administration tasks are much quicker on the command line than in a graphical interface.
It’s easy enough to access the terminal on your hosting account. Shared cPanel accounts let you access the terminal both from within cPanel and from your computer via SSH. A VPS Hosting Plan or a Dedicated Hosting Plan both provide you with root access to SSH into your server. This is great if you’re an experienced systems administrator, but what if you’ve never used the command line? Knowing just a few BASH commands let you take advantage of powerful tools like the WordPress Command Line Interface. Here are a few command line training courses to help you get started!
You don’t need to know dozens of terminal commands to start being productive. These short courses can be completed in an hour or two and give you enough to start exploring.
The Linux Survival Guide
It can be scary using a command line for the first time. You may be concerned that you’ll delete something important or cause an error. You should always start out your command line practice in an environment where nothing is at stake. The Linux Survival tutorial runs in your browser, letting you get a feel for basic command line tasks.
Zed Shaw’s Command Line Crash Course
Zed Shaw, author of a series of programming books, always includes a Command Line Crash Course to help new programmers get moving quickly. This version of the crash course, from an older Python 2 book, is freely available online. One great benefit of Shaw’s introduction is that it covers not only Linux commands, but their PowerShell equivalent. This lets aspiring coders with Windows devices learn how to leverage command line tools in both environments.
Once you’re comfortable moving around and managing files, you’ll probably want to start doing more with your command line skills. These courses offer a more in-depth look at the command line and give you the tools to manage users and introduce you to some of the more advanced tools available.
The Linux Journey is a full in-browser training course that takes you from the very basics all the way to performing advanced sysadmin tasks with the command line. You’ll study the processes of a server, learning to both monitor and configure those processes. If you have a Dedicated Hosting Plan, you owe it to yourself to work through a course like this– if only for a better understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes!
The Linux Command Line
William Shotts maintains a free, online version of The Linux Command Line. This book is enormous and unbelievably thorough. You essentially learn the entire architecture of a Linux system by way of terminal commands. Every chapter introduces a few new commands and explains the software, processes, and configurations they control. Later parts of the book teach you how to perform common, useful tasks from the command line. The final section of the book takes everything you’ve learned and teaches you shell scripting– letting you automate tasks and solve difficult problems with simple, quick programs.
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