Command Line Tools to Manage Linux Servers

Command Line Tools to Manage Linux Servers

The ssh command allows you to log in to a remote machine as well as execute commands on a remote machine. When performed as the root user, this method of connecting to the server provides the greatest level of access and control over the server. The root user will have no restrictions regarding file and directory access and is capable of running any command available.


We recommend using OpenSSH, the premier open-source connectivity tool for remote login with the ssh protocol. OpenSSH encrypts all traffic to eliminate eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other attacks. In addition, OpenSSH provides a large suite of secure tunneling capabilities, several authentication methods, and sophisticated configuration options.


As the administrator of a Linux VPS or Dedicated Server, you will undoubtedly find a number of situations that require accessing the server over ssh and performing commands through the terminal. For a step-by-step guide on accessing the server over ssh, view our Knowledgebase article, How to SSH Your Virtual or Dedicated Server (Linux). In this blog, we have compiled a short list of ssh commands, which are most commonly used in managing a virtual or dedicated Linux server.


cd: change directory

The cd command is used to navigate to a specified directory.


Example usage:


# cd /var


Moves the user to the /var directory.


pwd: print working directory

The pwd command is used to provide the full pathname of the current directory.


Example usage:


# pwd


Prints full pathname of the current directory.


yum: yellowdog updater modified

The yum command is  an interactive, automated update program which can be used for maintaining systems using rpm.


Example usage:


# yum update


Updates the package “package name”.


nano:  GNU nano text editor

The nano command opens a specified file with the GNU nano text editor.


Example usage:


# nano /path/to/file.txt


Opens file.txt with command line text editor.


mkdir: make directory

The mkdir command creates a new directory.


Example usage:


# mkdir


Creates new directory, “folder name”.


rm: remove

The rm command is used to delete files and directories.


Example usage:


# rm photo.jpg


Deletes the photo.jpg file.


mv: move

The mv command moves and/or renames files.


Example usage:


# mv file.png folder/file2.png


Moves file.png to the folder directory and renames it “file2.png”.


wget: GNU wget

The wget command retrieves content from web servers. It is commonly used to download files from public repositories.


Example usage:


# wget


Downloads the Rad Web Hosting Domain Reseller WHMCS module.


These are just a few of the more common commands performed over SSH for Linux server management. You can find more in-depth server management tips in our knowledgebase and active clients can always get support from our Support Technicians by opening a ticket in the Hosting Dashboard.


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