Arch Linux Commands Cheat Sheet [Free PDF Download]

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Arch Linux is a popular Linux distribution known for its simplicity and flexibility. It’s a Linux distribution that updates on a rolling basis, so users are required to keep up to date. Hence, operating Arch Linux is challenging for complete beginners. In this cheat sheet, I will provide quick and useful commands that will help both new and experienced users alike while working in Arch Linux.

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Arch Linux Commands List

Like, other Linux distros Arch Linux has various commands to perform different tasks. Using these commands, a user can interact with the operating system, manage packages and files, connect with network and so on. The below lists contain commands of different categories available in Arch Linux.

Arch Linux Commands for System Management

System commands in Arch Linux include tools for managing packages, monitoring system performance, controlling system services, and accessing system logs. Frequently used commands of this type are listed below:

Commands Description
systemctl Manage system services
journalctl Query and view system logs
hostnamectl Set or view the hostname of the system
timedatectl Set or view the system time and time zone
hwclock Display or set the hardware clock
shutdown Shut down or reboot the system
reboot Reboot the system
lsblk Display information about block devices
dmidecode Display information about the system’s hardware components
hwinfo Display detailed information about the system’s hardware components
lshw Display detailed information about the system’s hardware components
lspcmcia Display information about PCMCIA devices
lsdev Display information about all devices on the system
lsmod Display information about loaded kernel modules
modprobe Add or remove kernel modules
dmesg Displays bootup messages
systemd-analyze Analyze and display system boot-up performance
systemd-nspawn Create and manage containers
docker Create and manage containers
podman Alternative to docker that manages containers and images
sync Flush file system buffers to disk
uptime Display system uptime and load averages
free Display information about system memory usage
chroot Change the root directory of a process
cron Schedule periodic tasks
at Schedule one-time tasks
crontab Manage cron jobs for a user
smartctl monitoring and controlling the SMART attributes of hard drives and SSDs
history Display a list of previously executed commands
ltrace Trace library calls
strace Trace and analyze system calls and signals made by a process
valgrind Debug and profile programs
gdb Debug programs
pidof Find the process ID of a running program
pgrep Find the process ID of a running program based on its name or other criteria
pkill Send a signal to a running process based on its name or other criteria

Package Management

Package management is crucial for any Linux distribution to employ it for the desired purpose. In Arch Linux, package management commands are used to install, remove, and update software packages, dependencies, and libraries. Below are the most useful package management commands of Arch Linux.

Commands Description
pacman Install, remove, upgrade and manage packages
yay AUR helper used to install packages from the Arch User Repository
flatpak Install and manage applications in flatpak format
snap Install and manage applications in snap format
makepkg Create and manage Arch Linux packages

File Management Arch Linux Commands

Using commands of this section one can create, copy, move and delete files and directories. Here is a short list of file management commands available in Arch Linux.

Commands Description
ls Display list of files and directories
cd Change the current working directory
rm Remove files and directories
cp Copy files and directories
mv Move files and directories
nano Simple text editor
vi A more advanced text editor
chmod Change file permissions
chown Change file ownerships
cat Concatenate and display files
less Show files one page at a time
head By default display first ten lines of a file
tail Display the last lines of a file
wc Counts the number of lines, words and characters in a file
sort Sort lines of text
uniq Remove duplicate lines of text
cut Extract columns of text from a file
paste Merge lines of text from different files
sed Perform text transformations on a file
awk Manipulate and analyze text data
diff Compare two files and directories
patch Apply changes to a file or directory
alias Create custom command shortcut
which Display the location of a command
locate Quickly find files and directories on the system
updatedb Update the locate database
lsof List open files and their associated processes
ps Display information about running processes
kill Send a signal to a process
renice Change the priority of a process
nice Start a process with specific priority
dd Copy and convert data between files and devices
fdisk Create and manage disk partitions
mkfs Create a file system on a disk partition
mount Mount file systems
umount Unmount file systems
fsck Check and repair file systems
blkid Display information about block devices
hdparm Configure hard disk device parameters
lspci Display information about PCI devices
lsusb Display information about USB devices
tree Displays directory structure in a tree format
ln Create links between files and directories
mkdir Create directories
rmdir Remove empty directories
touch  Update the modification and access time of a file or create a new empty file
file Determine the type of file
hexdump Display the contents of a file in hexadecimal format
md5sum Calculate the MD5 checksum of a file
cpio Create and extract cpio archives
sftp Transfer files securely over SSH
sha256sum Calculate the SHA-256 checksum of a file
find Search files and directories
df View Disk space usage
du Estimates file space usage
grep Search for text within files
ack Seach and process text files
ripgrep Search and process text files
top Display real-time information about system resource usage
htop An interactive process viewer and system monitor, similar to top but with more features and customizability
screen Run multiple shell sessions or programs within a single terminal window or across multiple terminals
fuser Identify which processes are using a specific file or directory
realpath Display the absolute path of a file or directory
truncate Shrink or extend the size of a file
stat Display file or file system status

Arch Linux Commands for Network Management

There are a lot of commands in Arch Linux that are designed for managing and troubleshooting network-related issues. These commands allow users to configure network settings, check connectivity, and diagnose connectivity problems.

Commands Description
ip Display and manage network
ping Tests connectivity of a host
netstat Display information about network connections, routing tables, and network interfaces
wget Download files from the internet
curl Transfer data from or to a server
ssh Establish a secure shell connection to a remote server
scp Securely copy files between servers
rsync Synchronize files and directories between servers
tcpdump Capture and analyze network traffic
nmap Perform network exploration and security auditing
arp Display and modify the ARP table
ss Display information about network connections
iwconfig Display and configure wireless network interfaces
ifconfig Configure network interfaces
route View and modify routing table
traceroute Traces the route of a host
dig Retrieve DNS records of a domain
host Obtains information about a domain name or IP address
iptables Configure Linux firewall
ipset Manage ip sets
ssh-keygen Generate and manage SSH keys
ssh-copy-id Copy SSH keys to a remote server
byobu Terminal multiplexer and session manager that includes additional features
cifs-utils Mount and manage CIFS
mtr Continuously monitors network connections and their quality
tig Text-based interface for Git that provides a visual representation of Git branches, commit history, and changes
nmon Display real-time system and hardware statistics, including CPU usage, disk I/O, and network traffic
hping3 Packet crafting and testing tool that can send various types of network packets
arp-scan Discover hosts and network devices by sending ARP packets, and display their MAC and IP addresses
gparted A graphical partition editor that allows to create, resize, move, and copy disk partitions
sshfs Mount a remote file system over SSH protocol
slurm A network load blancer and cluster management tool
jshon Parse, manipulate and analyze JSON data in shell scripts
xdg-open Open files or URLs with the default application configured in the system
ranger A file manager and directory browser that supports various features like previews, bookmarks, and plugin integration
ddrescue  copy data from one file or block device to another
ytop Display real-time information about system resourses
vnstat Monitor network traffic and record and display bandwidth usage of interfaces
nc Establish and manage network connections
iftop Monitor network traffic in real-time
nethogs Shows bandwidth usage by process

Arch Linux Commands for User and Group Management

User management commands are used to create, modify and delete users and groups. Some frequently used user management commands are as follows:

Commands Description
tmux Manage multiple terminal sessions
whois Query WHOIS databases
w Display information about currently logged-in users
last Display information about previous logins
glances System monitoring tool with a web interface
iotop Monitor input/output usage by processes and storage devices
uname Display information about the system’s kernel and operating system version.

Arch Linux Commands for Compression and Archiving

Arch Linux has multiple commands to create, manage, and extract files and directories from compressed archives. The most useful commands of this type are listed below:

Commands Description
zip Create and manipulate ZIP archive files
tar Archive and compress files
unzip Extract files from ZIP archives
bzip2 Compress and decompress files using the bzip2 algorithm
gzip Compress and decompress files using the gzip algorithm
xz Compress and decompress files using the xz algorithm
openssl Manage digital certificates and perform encryption and decryption operations
ncdu Analyze disk usage in a directory tree
7z Extract files from 7z archives
e Monitor the progress of data transfer between two processes
fdupes Find and remove duplicate files in a directory tree, and can compare files
p7zip Compress and decompress files and directories in various archive formats, including 7z, zip, tar, and gzip
qpdf Manipulate and transform PDF files

Arch Linux Miscellaneous Commands

Many other Arch Linux commands don’t fit into a specific category or have multiple usages. Learning these commands will save the time and effort of a user.

Commands Description
youtube-dl Download videos and audio from various sources
newsboat Fetch and display news articles from various sources
pandoc Convert documents between various markup and document formats
mpd Plays audio files from a local or remote directory
sshuttle Tunnels all network traffic through an SSH connection, and can bypass various network restrictions and firewalls
feh Supports various image formats and can display them in a slideshow or as a background wallpaper
mutt A command-line email client
pine command-line email client with a more traditional interface
elinks Web browser with more advanced features than Lynx
lynx A text-based web browser
strings Extract human-readable strings from binary files
gpg Encrypt and decrypt files and messages using public-key cryptography
sqlite3 a command-line tool for managing SQLite databases, and can create, modify, and query tables and records in a file-based database system


In conclusion, the Arch Linux cheat sheet covers a variety of commands, including package management, system configuration, networking and others. By following the commands outlined in the cheat sheet, users can easily customize their Arch Linux system and perform necessary tasks.

People Also Ask

Why is Arch Linux so special?

Arch Linux is special because it provides a minimalistic installation, a rolling release model, and full control over the system. It is renowned for its comprehensive documentation, active community, and cutting-edge software. However, it necessitates a higher level of technical proficiency than other distributions.

What is pacman command?

The pacman command is used in Arch Linux and its derivatives. It is a package management tool to facilitate the installation, upgrade, configuration, and removal of software packages on Arch-based Linux systems.

Is Arch better than Debian?

Actually, both are good. So, the choice between Arch Linux and Debian depends on your needs and preferences. Arch Linux is preferred due to its rolling-release model, personalization, and access to the most up-to-date software, which makes it ideal for hands-on users. Debian, by contrast, is known for its stability and well-established release process, making it a solid option for servers and end-users who value reliability.

Can I use apt on Arch?

Yes, you can use apt (Advanced Package Management Tool) package manager on Arch Linux. You can install the apt from Arch Linux user repository.

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Md Zahidul Islam Laku

Hey, I'm Zahidul Islam Laku currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I completed my graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). I write articles on a variety of tech topics including Linux. Learning and writing on Linux is nothing but fun as it gives me more power on my machine. What can be more efficient than interacting with the Operating System without Graphical User Interface! Read Full Bio

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