How to Use coreutils on Linux


Coreutils is a collection of essential command-line tools for Linux systems. They provide basic system functionalities and are typically pre-installed on most Linux distributions. This guide will walk you through the usage of Coreutils to perform various tasks efficiently and effectively.

This guide introduces Coreutils, a collection of essential command-line tools for Linux systems. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to use Coreutils efficiently. It covers basic commands such as ls, cp, mv, rm, mkdir, and rmdir, along with advanced commands like find, grep, sort, head, and tail. With Coreutils, users can manage files and directories, perform searches, sort text files, and more. The guide concludes by emphasizing the importance of practice and experimentation to fully utilize the potential of Coreutils.


  • A Linux distribution
  • Basic familiarity with the Linux command line

Step 1: Access the Terminal
Open a terminal on your Linux system. This step may vary depending on your distribution, but you can usually find it in the Applications menu or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Coreutils

Coreutils consists of many commonly-used command-line utilities. You can view the complete list by typing the following command in the terminal:

info coreutils

The output will display information about coreutils.

Step 3: Basic Coreutils Commands

  • ls – List directory contents:
  • Example: ls -l lists files and directories in long format.
  • cp – Copy files and directories:
  • Example: cp file.txt /destination/folder copies “file.txt” to the specified destination folder.
  • mv – Move or rename files and directories:
  • Example: mv file.txt new_file_name.txt renames “file.txt” to “new_file_name.txt” in the same directory.
  • rm – Remove files and directories:
  • Example: rm file.txt deletes the “file.txt” file.
  • mkdir – Create directories:
  • Example: mkdir new_folder creates a new folder named “new_folder” in the current directory.
  • rmdir – Remove empty directories:
  • Example: rmdir empty_folder deletes the “empty_folder” directory if it is empty.

Note: Many of these commands have additional options and flags for advanced usage. You can further explore their functionalities by using the --help flag with each command. For example: ls --help.

Step 4: Advanced Coreutils Commands

Apart from the basic commands, Coreutils provides advanced utilities that enhance your efficiency.

  • find – Search files and directories based on various criteria:
  • Example: find /path/to/search -name "*.txt" finds all files with the “.txt” extension in the specified path.
  • grep – Search for specific patterns within files:
  • Example: grep "search_term" file.txt searches for occurrences of “search_term” within the “file.txt.”
  • sort – Sort lines of text files:
  • Example: sort file.txt lists the lines of “file.txt” in sorted order.
  • head – Display the first few lines of a file:
  • Example: head -n 5 file.txt shows the first five lines of “file.txt.”
  • tail – Display the last few lines of a file:
  • Example: tail -n 10 file.txt displays the last ten lines of “file.txt.”


Coreutils is an invaluable collection of utilities that facilitate various tasks on a Linux system. This guide provides an introduction to basic and advanced commands, but there are many more possibilities to explore. With practice and experimentation, you can become proficient in utilizing Coreutils to manage files, directories, and perform powerful operations on your Linux system.

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