Common Linux Commands Used on the Service Console

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Manipulating Files
 Command
 Example and Explanation
 cd
 Change directories.

cd /home/user
Change to the directory /home/user (the home directory for a user with the user name user).

cd ..
Go up one level from the current directory.
 cp
 Copy a file.

cp oldfile newfile
Make a copy of the file oldfile in the current directory. The copy is named newfile.

cp oldfile /home/user
Make a copy of the file oldfile in the current directory. The copy also has the name oldfile and is in the directory /home/user.
 ln
 Create a link from one file or directory to another file or directory.

ln -s /bin/program prolink
Create a soft link (shortcut) from the existing file /bin/program to prolink. The link prolink is created in the current working directory. If you enter the command prolink, you run the program /bin/program.
 ls
 List the files in the current directory.

ls -al
List all (-a) the files in the current directory in long (-l) format.

ls *.html
List files in the current directory that end with .html. The * is a wild-card character that represents any number of characters. The ? is a wild-card character that represents a single character.

ls /home/user
List the files in the directory /home/user.
 mkdir
 Make a new directory.

mkdir newdir
Make a new directory called newdir beneath the current directory.

mkdir /home/newdir
Make a new directory called newdir beneath the /home directory.
 mv
 Move a file to a new directory or rename the file.

mv myfile /home/user
Move the file myfile from the current directory to the directory /home/user.

mv myfile yourfile
Rename the file myfile. The new filename is yourfile.
 pwd
 Show the path to the present working directory.
tar Tape ARchive, a command which combines many files into one for backup purposes. Below are some example commands:

tar -cvzf /local/servcons.tar.gz --exclude /proc --exclude /local --exclude /vmfs --exclude /data /

Create a gzipped tar backup file the whole Service Console.
tar -cf /local/vm-configs.tar /data

Create a tar backup file of all files in and under /data directory.
tar -xvzf /local/vm007-config.tar.gz

Extract gzipped tar backup file to current directory.
find / -type f -iname vm007* | tar -czvf /local/vm007-backup.tar.gz -
Find all files starting as 'vm007', and create a compressed backup tar file of them.
gzip|gunzip

 

These command compress and decompress files. The recommended and default extension is .gz.

 

more|less

 

These commands are almost the same, and usually act in a pipe. They are used for file pagination to terminal. Below are some example commands:
zcat /var/log/vmksummary.1.gz | less
more /etc/passwd

 

 rm
 Remove a file.

rm deadfile
Remove the file deadfile from the current directory.
 rmdir
 Remove a directory.

rmdir gone
Remove the directory gone, which exists beneath the current directory.
 

Finding and Viewing Files

 Command
 Example and Explanation
 cat
 Concatenate the contents of files and display the content on the screen.

cat /proc/vmware/mem
Display the contents of the file /proc/vmware/mem.
 find
 Find files under a specified directory that match conditions you specify.

find / -name myfil*
Find files in the root directory and all directories under it that have file names beginning with myfil. The * is a wild-card character that represents any number of characters. The ? is a wild-card character that represents a single character.

find -name '*.vmx' -print -exec chown User2 {} \;
Find all files in this directory and all subdirectories that end with .vmx, display the names of all files that are found on the screen and, for each file (indicated by the curly braces — {}), change its owner to User2.
 The -print option is not necessary, but it is handy to track the progress of the find command. If you do not use -print, the find command is silent except for error messages from find or from chown.

find -name '*.vmx' -exec grep -il 'SOMETHING' {} \;
Find all files in this directory and all subdirectories that end with .vmx and look for the pattern SOMETHING in each of the files. The -i option to grep makes the search case-insensitive. The -l option to grep causes grep to display the names of the files that have SOMETHING in them. When a file is found that contains SOMETHING, this command displays the full path to the file from the current directory (for example,
./virtualmachines/Linux/RedHat71Test/redhat71.vmx
).
 grep
 Search for a specified text pattern in a specified directory or list of files and display the lines in which the pattern is found.

grep "log file" *
Search all the files in the current directory for the text string log file.
 less
 Display the contents of a specified file one screen at a time. Use the arrow keys to move up and down through the file.

less myfile
Display the contents of the file myfile.

grep "log file" * | less
Search all the files in the current directory for the text string log file and use less to display the results so you can scroll up and down through them.
 more
 Display the contents of a specified file one screen at a time. Use the spacebar to move forward through the file a screen at a time; use the Enter key to move forward through the file one line at a time.

more myfile
Display the contents of the file myfile.

grep "log file" * | more
Search all the files in the current directory for the text string log file and use more to display the results so you can view them one screen at a time.
 

Managing the Computer and Its Users

 Command
 Example and Explanation
 apropos
 Find commands with descriptions that include a specified word. Displays the name of the command and the first line of the description.

apropos file
Find commands with descriptions that include the word file.

apropos file | less
Find commands with descriptions that include the word file and use less to display the results so you can scroll up or down through them.
 du
 Display usage in kilobytes for contents of the current directory or for a specified file or directory.

du /bin
Show how much disk space is used by the /bin directory.
 vdf
 vdf is an ESX Server-customized version of the df command. Use vdf in place of the df command. vdf works with all the standard df options.
 Displays free space for all mounted file systems. The listing also shows the total space, amount of space used and percentage of space used for each file system.
 fdformat
 Do a floppy disk format.

fdformat /dev/fd0
Format a floppy disk in the first floppy disk drive.
 groupadd
 Add a new group.

groupadd newgroup
Add a group named newgroup to the system.
 hostname
 Display the system's host name.
 ifconfig
 Display the network interface configuration information for devices used by the service console.
 insmod
 Install a loadable module into the running kernel.

insmod parport
Install the loadable module named parport into the running kernel.
 kill
 Kill a specified process.

kill 3456
Kill the process with a process ID of 3456.
 kill -9 is the surest way to kill a process; however, use it only as a last resort since it will not save editor buffers.
 lsmod
 List all loaded modules.
 lspci
 List PCI devices available to the service console.

lspci -v
List PCI devices in verbose mode.
 mount
These commands manually mount CDs, floppies, local partitions, and remote directories to a selected local directory. The local (empty) directory must exist before the mount can succeed. Example mound command would be "mount /dev/sdb5 /data". Permanent mounting is done by editing the /etc/fstab file.
mount
Shows all the active mounts.
mount -a
Remounts everything specified in /etc/fstab file.
mount /dev/cdrom
This command does the default mounting of a CD to the default mount point. In Service Console the CD is mounted to /mnt/cdrom directory.
mount /mnt/floppy
Mounts a normal 1440KB floppy (/dev/fd0) to the specified directory.
mount -t iso9660 -o loop /local/w2005srv.iso /mnt/isocd
Mount a CD/DVD ISO image file to the specified directory. This is very useful for testing and other purposes. The mount point directory must exist (mkdir /mnt/isocd) before mounting.
 passwd
 Change your password.

passwd user
Change the password for a user named user. You must be logged in as the root user (su) to change another user's password.
 ps
 Show names, process IDs and other information for running processes.

ps -ef
Show full (-f) information about every (-e) running process.
 shutdown
 Shut down the computer.

shutdown -h 5
Completely halt (-h) the computer in 5 minutes.

shutdown -r now
Shut down and restart (-r) the computer immediately.
 umount
 Unmount a specified device.

umount /mount/floppy
Unmount the device currently mounted at /mount/floppy.
 useradd
 Add a new user to the system.

useradd newuser
Add a new user with a user name of newuser to the system.
 who
 Show the user names of all users logged in to the system.
 whoami
 Show what user name you are currently using on the system.
man

 

Prints the manual page for a command or a configuration file entered as a parameter to this command.
reboot Does a nice reboot on the system. Does "Force Power Off" for the VMs.
halt Does a nice halt on the system. Does "Force Power Off" for the VMs.
shutdown
Generic command for shutting down or rebooting the system.
fdisk Command line disk partitioning program in Linux. It is powerful and has a very simple user interface.
fdisk /dev/sdb
On command line, starts fdisk against second available SCSI disk. "sda" is the first SCSI disk, "sdc" is the third SCSI disk etc. VMware ESX Server is installed on /dev/sda, and the external storage is /dev/sdb, and maybe some others too.
p
Fdisk subcommand, prints the current partition table on current disk.
d
Fdisk subcommand, deletes an existing partition. Enter the partition number to delete. It is recommended to printout the current partition table before deleting anything.
n
Fdisk subcommand, creates a new partition. Select partition type (primary, extended, or logical). Almost always you should use the default starting cylinder. For size, enter "+NNNNNm", where NNNNN is the size in megabytes.
t
Fdisk subcommand, change partition type (id). By default fdisk creates ext2 type partitions. We might also want to use id "fb", the vmfs type, or some other type.
w
Fdisk subcommand, writes the current partition table to disk. If you don't get any errors, you don't have to reboot. If you get errors at this point, the new partition table is used only after next system boot.
mke2fs This command formats a partition for ext2, or ext3 file system.
mke2fs -j /dev/sdb1
Formats /dev/sdb1 using ext3 file system.
mke2fs /dev/sdb1
Formats /dev/sdb1 using ext2 file system
kudzu This is the RedHat's tool to detect and configure hardware: adding new and removing old. When you run kudzu, or system runs it at bootup, be careful. Kudzu might offer to remove hardware you have dedicated solely to the VMs. Know your hardware and configuration. It might be a good idea to refer to /etc/modules.conf file before running kudzu. A safe action to select in kudzu is "Do nothing". Select it when in doubt.
dd With this 'disk dump' command you can create ISO images and floppy images. You can also use it to create imagefiles of partitions and whole disks. Below are some example commands:
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/local/suse90pro-dvd1.iso bs=2048
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/local/w2003srv.iso bs=2048
The above two examples create an ISO image of a CD/DVD. You can safely ignore the error message usually shown at the end of the media.
dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/local/bootfloppy1.img bs=1440k
This command creates a floppy image quickly.
dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/local/bootfloppy2.img bs=512
This is a bit slower version of the above example.
 
ntpdate

 

This command takes an NTP server as a parameter and synchronises the clock once. This command doesn't work when local NTP daemon is running. Example: ntpdate ntp1.funet.fi
 chmod
 This command is the main command for changing file modes. Like chown, it can do things recursively with parameter "-R". Below are some example commands:

chmod -R 0775 /vmfs/* /data/* c
hmod u=rwx,g=rwx,o=r /vmfs/freebsd462/*
chmod g+rwx /vmfs/vm007/*
chmod -R u+rwx,g=r,o-rwx /var/log/*
chmod u=rw,g=rw,o=r /etc/modules.conf
chmod 664 /etc/modules.conf
chmod u=rw,g=rw /vmfs/*/*.dsk

It appears, that this last example works rather nicely. Note, that those VMs which are powered-on, have their .dsk files locked.

 

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