Unix/Linux Guru and FOSS supporter

Learning by Doing with Linux


Learning by doing refers to a theory of education expounded by American philosopher John Dewey. It’s a hands-on approach to learning, meaning students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn. Dewey implemented this idea by setting up the University of Chicago Laboratory School.

Linux has been around since the mid-1990s and has since reached a user base that spans the globe. To get more information from So we could use Learning by doing with Linux.


I was planning to learn Linux! What hardware, software, or personal skills to require before you begin. So, what are the prerequisites for learning Linux?

The requirement to learn Linux is the Linux operating system. So, it would help if you got hold of a Linux distribution. The most popular ones are:

  1. Ubuntu
  2. Fedora
  3. Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  4. CentOS
  5. openSUSE
  6. Kali

Learning by doing by installing Linux

In this tutorial, we will be using Red Hat 8 on Virtualbox.

Get the ip address

Although of what method you use, finding the IP address of your system is required almost in every case. Following is an easy way to find the IP of your Linux system. First, go to the terminal in your Linux machine and type the following command.

# Ifconfig


# ip a

Remote access using SSH (Secure Shell)

You should install the PuTTY software for this method, as it’s better than using the Windows default SSH function. PuTTY establishes an SSH connection between your Linux and your Windows desktop, which gives you access to the Linux terminal.

Learning by doing with Linux commands

This tutorial makes you familiar with the Linux command line. To learn other commands check other articles.

  • navigate directories
  • manipulate files
  • execute programs

Starting & Stopping

shutdown -h nowShutdown the system now and do not reboot
haltStop all processes – same as above 
shutdown -r 5Shutdown the system in 5 minutes and reboot
shutdown -r nowShutdown the system now and reboot
rebootStop all processes and then reboot – same as above
startxStart the X system

Accessing & mounting file systems

mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdromMount the device cdrom and
call it cdrom under the/mnt directory
mount -t msdos /dev/hdd  /mnt/ddriveMount hard disk “d” as an MS-DOS  file system and
call it to drive under the /mnt directory 
mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/cdriveMount hard disk “a” as a VFAT file system and
call it to drive under the /mnt directory 
umount /mnt/cdromUnmount the cdrom

Finding files and text within files

find / -name  fname Starting with the root directory  look for the file called fname
find / -name ”*fname*” Starting with the root directory  look for the file containing the string fname 
locate missing filename Find a file called missing filename using the locate command  this assumes you have already used the command update db (see next)
updatedb Create or update the database of files on all file systems attached to the linux root directory 
which missing filenameShow the subdirectory containing the executable file  called missing file name 
grep text string to find /dir Starting with the directory called dir look for and list all files containing text string to find

Moving, copying, deleting & viewing files

ls -l   List files in the current directory using long format
ls -F  List files in the current directory and indicate the file type 
ls -laC List all files in the current directory in long format and display in columns
rm name Remove a file or directory called name 
rm -rf name Kill off an entire directory and all it’s includes files and subdirectories 
cp filename /home/dirname Copy the file called filename to the/home/dir name directory
mv filename/home/dirname Move the file called filename to the/home/dirname directory 
cat file to view Display the file called file to view 
man -k keyword Display man pages containing keyword 
more filetoview Display the file called file to view one page at a time  proceed to next page using the space bar 
head filetoview Display the first ten lines of the file called file to view head -20 filetoview Display the first 20 lines of the file called file to view 
tail filetoview Display the last 10 lines of the file called file to view


Everyone has understanding, resources, and interests on which to build. Teachers have a critical role in assisting learners in engaging their knowledge, building on learners’ performances, correcting misconceptions, and observing and engaging with learners during the processes of learning.


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