linux for blondes

How To

We're not talking complicated stuff here - we're talking basics - atleast at the moment ...

Note I use ubuntu breezy badger distribution - the advice below may be transferable to other OS - please let me know.

find a file on your hard drive

To find a file on your hard drive type the following command replacing file-name with the name of the file you are looking for.

locate file-name

find out the size of a folder

To find out the size of a folder type the following command (replacing folder name with the name of the folder you want to know the size of):

du hs folder-name

unzip a file

If you want to see and use the contents of a file which you have zipped up you need to unzip it.


This will unzip the contents of into the current folder.

use a USB stick

These USB sticks are the ultimate christmas stocking filler and easy to use in linux and windows.

In a terminal type


This will bring up a list of things to do with connections being made to your computer.

Look for something along the lines of

[4305409.365000] Attached scsi removable disk sdd at scsi7, channel 0, id 0, lun 1

It is the sdd part you are interested in (it might be sda, sdb, sdc ...)

Next create a drive that you will mount the usb stick to

mkdir /mnt/stick

Mount your usb stick to the drive called stick

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdd1 /mnt/stick

sudo does the comand as root

mount is the comand to mount the device

-t is for the type of file system which is vfat

/dev/sdd1 is where the device is note that this is the info we got from the dmesg comand, note that 1 has been added onto the end

/mnt/stick is the directory you mount the device to

You can then use the usb stick as you would any other mounted device ie.

ls /mnt/stick

will list all the files/directories on your usb stick

note that you will probably require sudo infront of these comands as you mounted it as root so only root has permissions to do things with it

Once you are finished unmount the usb stick with this comand
sudo umount /mnt/stick

zip a file

Zip = making files smaller, getting rid of all the extra random space that some files take up so you can squish more onto your disc

in your terminal type:

zip theNamesOfTheFilesToZip


zip *.jpg

top tip: the star is a wild card, it means all of the files in this folder which end in .jpg Time saver!!

Remember if you are trying to copy folders into your zip you need to add a -r to the command.


zip -r photofolder/*