Common Information Commands

by Papawoob

Below you will find a list of common commands used to find information about your computer hardware, processes, files, etc... Each of these can be run in a Konsole or terminal. If you are having a problem and want to post a question on the forum, you are likely to be asked to post the output of one or more of these commands. You can open Konsole by going to:

Main Menu -> System -> Terminals -> Konsole

Simply enter a command and press enter. When you are finished type exit and then press enter.


The df command will display disk usage on mounted partitions(displays mounted partition names, sizes and usage.)


This command helps users to print out (display on the screen) their bootup messages. These are what you see if you press the Esc key while the computer is booting up to your login screen.


This is the command that is used to either set or display the current host, domain or node name of the system. These names are used by many of the networking programs to identify each particular machine in a network.


This command shows the amount of free memory that is available.


lspci is a command that prints detailed information about all PCI buses and devices in the system.


Displays information about network status. The information displayed by this command will likely be quite long.


If you type uname and press enter you should see: Linux

To get the type of processor; type uname -m

Konsole should display: i686, i586, etc... depending on the type of processor you have.


top provides an ongoing look at processor activity in real time. It displays a listing of the most CPU-intensive tasks on the system, and can provide an interactive interface for manipulating processes. It can sort the tasks by CPU usage, memory usage, and runtime.


To see the manual or information for a command or application (type the command listed below then the specific subject or command for which you want info. You must have documentation installed on your system for this to work.)

Example: man vim displays the manual for the vim (vi improved) editor.

whereis, find or locate a file

There are a number of ways to locate a file. To find a command's binary and other info type: whereis followed by the name of the command you are looking for and you will get a detailed listing.

You can also type: locate followed by the file you are looking for and if it has been added to the database you will get its location.

Also, you can type: find followed by the path and expression or file/files you are looking for. For example if you want to know how many html files there are in directory stuff, do this (in the stuff directory): find *.html you will get a list of all the .html files in the stuff directory.

The next couple of commands require you to become root (administrator) to be able to run these commands. You can become root temporarily by typing: su and then press enter. You will now be asked to enter your root password (note: the cursor will Not move as you type.) Type your root password and press enter. The color of your prompt should change to red.


This command is very useful for creating a list of all your hardware and other useful information about all of the hardware on your system.


This command lets you become root or "Super User" after you type it and hit enter you will be prompted for the root password, enter the correct password and you are root. Be careful you now have the power to destroy your system. To get back to your own user account type: exit and press enter.


If no arguments are given, ifconfig displays the status of the currently active networking interfaces. If a single interface argument is given, it displays the status of the given interface only; if a single -a argument is given, it displays the status of all interfaces, even those that are down.


lsmod shows information about all loaded modules. The format is name, size, use count, list of referring modules. The information displayed is identical to that available from the file: /proc/modules.

I hope these few commands can be useful in finding out a few things about your computer. It will also help you begin to see the power and usefulness of the Linux command line. If you know some more commands that might be useful, please contact me at: and I will append this list accordingly.