Command Line and Shell Cheat Sheet

A quick reference/cheat sheet about various command line and shell related related things. From shell and bash syntax to common command line tools.

Compressed files

tar -xf $FILE

You can add -v in there to print the file names as well.

If you're not dealing with stdin, then it should auto-detect the compression type.

Finding files

locate permalink

To find from current directory:

locate "$PWD*/<FILE GLOB>"

find permalink



Options permalink

  • -type: Specifies file type. Typically use f.
  • -name: Name of the file.

Shell/Bash Syntax

  • Assign variables without $

  • Read variables with $

  • elif


Finds difference between two files/directories

  • -q/--brief: Report only the files that differ.
  • -r/--recursive: Recursive


  • Ending dir name in / copies contents and without copies directory.

Useful Options permalink

  • -v: verbose
  • -a: archive. A combination of a bunch of other useful options such as recursive.
  • -P: Combination of --partial which allows resumption of interrupted sync, and --progress which shows progress.
  • -n: Dry run
  • --delete: Delete files from destination that aren't in source directory.


Lists devices. Useful for finding USB drives, other external storage, etc.

Those devices are usually in /dev/


udisksctl mount -b DEVICE_NAME

udisksctl unmount -b DEVICE_NAME

Where DEVICE_NAME is a device from lsblk.

Automatically mounts a device.