Terminal usage


  • Raspberry Pi running Raspbian Jessie with display, mouse, keyboard and power source (see Introduction, steps 1-5)

Linux terminal commands
Modern Linux operating systems like Raspbian come with powerful desktop environments. But, the Linux terminal is a very powerful tool and essential for working with a Raspberry Pi. It can look scary to first time users; however, there really are only a few basic commands necessary for performing experiments and building devices.
Here are the most important terminal commands:

  • ls PATH: Displays the files in PATH (ls -la shows hidden files, too)
  • cp FILE1 FILE2: Copies FILE1 to FILE2
  • rm FILE: Deletes FILE
  • sudo COMMAND: Executes COMMAND with administrator rights
  • sudo apt-get install PACKAGE: Install PACKAGE
  • sudo apt-get remove PACKAGE: Uninstall PACKAGE
  • CTRL + C: Stop the currently running program
  • sudo reboot: Reboot the Raspberry Pi
  • sudo shutdown: Shutdown the Raspberry Pi
  • Pressing the tabulator key tries autocompleting a path or command

Start the terminal either by booting directly into it or by clicking the computer screen icon in the top left icon group in the Raspbian desktop:

Raspbian Terminal

Raspbian Terminal