The Command Line

Sometimes, we use the command line (or "command prompt") to send instructions to the computer instead of using a visual application.

To open the command line:

  • macOS: open the Terminal application (or iTerm2 if you prefer to be fancy)
  • Windows Subsytem for Linux: run the bash command

Here are some common tasks that you can accomplish at the command line:

What is the Current Directory?


Change the Current Directory

You want to change the current directory to ~/code:

cd ~/code

Now you want to change to a subdirectory, ~/code/sandbox:

TIP: Use your up and down arrow keys to recall previous commands.

cd sandbox

Now you want to go back to the parent directory, ~/code:

cd ..

Two dots .. means "go up to the parent directory"

Directory Listing





ls -l

Copy a file

You have a file named index.html and you want to make a copy called index2.html:

cp index.html index2.html

Rename a file

You have a file named fruits.html and you want to rename it to cookies.html:

mv fruits.html cookies.html

mv is short for "move" because renaming can also include the more general case of moving a file somewhere else, perhaps renaming it also:

mv fruits.html ~/code/cookies.html



or press CTRL-D.

Git Command Reference

When working on assignments, you may refer back to this cheat sheet.

Start a New Repository

git init

Check File Status

git status

Commit All Current Changes

git add -A
git commit -m "Your commit message goes here"

Connect with a Remote Repository

git remote add origin [URL of remote repository goes here]
git push -u origin master

Push to GitHub

git push