Simplifying and improving standard commands

Command-Line – New Commands

© Lead Image by Andras Vas on Unsplash

© Lead Image by Andras Vas on Unsplash

Article from Issue 222/2019

As the standard core Linux commands have become more complex due to revisions, new commands have risen to take their place. Bruce looks at seven of these modern commands, plus a terminal emulator.

The more basic a command is, the more likely it is to predate Linux. The long history of commands is an advantage in that core commands have had more than four decades to get the bugs out and to make revisions as the expectations and needs of Linux users have evolved. However, more options can also make mastering commands more difficult. At times, all the revisions can make learning and remembering commands absolutely cumbersome.

Rather than completely restructure basic commands, Linux programmers have often responded by writing completely new commands that are either rationalizations or simplified front ends for older commands. Being as set in my ways as most people, initially, I have often been skeptical of these new commands. Yet when I tally them up, I find that I have replaced standard commands with newer ones in a surprising number of cases. Here are seven leading examples.


Few commands are as basic as ls. When working from the command line, you can use it a dozen times in an hour to list the contents of a directory.


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