This guide assumes you have access to the Bash shell on a GNU/Linux computer. Most of the examples use a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. If you haven't, you should start with What is this "Linux", anyhow?, What is the Command Line?, and An Illustrated Shell Command Primer.

Now that we've covered some basic shell commands, let's shift focus a little and talk about some of the features that bind those commands together into a useful working environment. In this guide, we'll cover:

  • standard input and output
  • combining commands with pipes
  • redirecting output to and from files
  • standard error and exit codes

While these may sound like dry topics, it's here that the command line begins to come into its own as a tool and environment for solving problems. Pull up a terminal and read on!

This guide was first published on Feb 17, 2015. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Feb 12, 2015.

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