Top 5 Linux Commands I use as Data Engineer

Top 5 Linux Commands I use as Data Engineer


2 min read

I'm in and out of server boxes all day using terminals and screen sessions. Making edits to files, setting up cron jobs, creating docker containers and monitoring data pipelines. Below are the top 5 commands I use every day.


cd and cd ..

  • Navigate to a directory cd MyFolder

  • Navigate back a directory relative to your current path. If current path is /home/user/MyFolder executing cd .. will bring you to /home/user


ls and ls -ls -h

  • List all contents in current path. ls executed while on path ./MyDirectory will list, profile_pic.jpg and creds.txt
├── MyDirectory
│   ├──
│   └── profile_pic.jpg
    └── creds.txt
  • List all contents and it's attributes in current path AND in human-readable (-h) format. ie. is 903 bytes in size using ls -ls -h
-rw-rw-r-- 1 adam adam   0 Dec 20 09:49 creds.txt
-rw-rw-r-- 1 adam adam 903 Dec 20 09:49
-rw-rw-r-- 1 adam adam   0 Dec 20 09:49 profile_pic.jpg



  • Prints the full name of the path in the current working directory. pwd while in MyDirectory would hypothetically print /home/user/MyDirectory/



  • nano is a terminal file editor, nano does not always come pre-installed with every flavor of Linux. To create and start to edit a brand new text file: nano will create a file called and bring you right into the text editor.



  • Copy a single file. cp <source> <destinationpath_and_filename>

  • To copy and place it in the same directory cp

  • To copy to a new directory, first create the directory mkdir NewFolder and copy main into it NewFolder/