Linux to Windows Commands Cheat Sheet [Free PDF Download]

Linux and Windows are the top two existing operating systems. However, both operating system has so many similarities and differences. While both systems have a command line interface but the commands and syntax can be very different. Sometimes users have to work on both operating systems due to various reasons. In such situations, a list of equivalent Linux and Windows commands can be super helpful. This article provides frequently used Linux to Windows commands in a compact cheat sheet.

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What is Linux to Windows Commands?

Linux and Windows are two different operating systems with their own set of commands and syntax. Someone may need to convert Linux commands to their Windows equivalent while working on a Windows machine and vice versa.  This is what Linux to Windows commands means. In such cases, users need to understand the syntax and functionality of both operating systems.

Linux to Windows Commands List

Here, I will provide some Linux commands and their Windows counterparts in a single list. This will help a user to overcome the challenges of switching from one operating system to another or operating both OS simultaneously.

System Administration Commands

This section includes the commands for getting information about the system and terminating a process or processes. Many of these commands are the same for Linux and Windows systems. Others have different names but do the same task.

Linux Windows Description
kill taskkill Terminates a process
mkdir mkdir Creates new directory
cp copy Copies files or directories
ps tasklist Displays information about active processes
echo echo Prints a message to the console
exit exit Exits or close the current command prompt or shell
free mem Displays the amount of free and used memory on the system
ls -R tree Lists directory recursively
du -s chdisk Disk usage of a particular file or directory
cron at Allows scheduling of commands or scripts to run at specific times or intervals
export var=value set var=value Sets environment variables
rm -rf/rmdir rmdir Deletes files or directories
Mke2fs or mformat format Formats a file system on a storage device
cd cd Changes the current working directory
date time Displays or sets the time and date on the system
pwd chdir Displays the current working directory
man command_name command_name /? Displays help or manual pages of a specific command
grep find Searches for patterns in files
diff fc Compares two files
rm del Deletes files
clear cls Clears the command line interface screen
mv move Move files or directories
mv ren Rename files or directories
sort sort Sort lines in a file
rsync robocopy Synchronize files between two location
scp pscp Transfer files securely over a network
history doskey /history Displays a list of previously executed commands
sudo runas Run command or script with elevated privileges
ln mklink Create links between files or directories
locate dir /s /b Search for files
route route Displays or modifies the network routing table
mount mountvol or diskpart Mount or unmount file systems
curl curl Transfer data from or to a server using various protocols
last quser Displays a list of previous user logins
nmap namp Scan networks and detect open ports
lsblk diskpart Displays information about blocked devices
unmount mountvol /d Unmount file systems
service sc Manages system services
uptime systeminfo Displays system uptime and other system information
iostat diskperf Displays disk I/O statistics
badblocks chkdsk Check for bad blocks on a storage device
fsck chkdsk Check and repair file system errors on a storage device
mkfs format Creates a file system on a storage device
fuser handle Displays information about processes that are using a file or directory
pgrep Tasklist /FI Displays information about processes that match specific criteria
stat stat Displays file or file system status information
unset setx /delete Deletes or unsets an environment variable
crontab schtasks Schedule tasks or jobs to run at specified intervals
dd diskcopy Copies data between disks or files
tr tr Translate or replace characters in a file or stream
which where Locate the executable file associated with a command
tee tee Redirect output to both a file and the screen
cut cut Extract sections of text from a file or stream
wc find /c Count lines, words, and characters in a file or stream
uniq uniq Remove duplicate lines from a file or stream
free systeminfo Displays information about system memory and resources
nice start /low Changes the priority level of a process
watch watch Repeatedly execute a command and show the output
ss netstat -an Displays network statistics
renice wmic process where Changes the priority level of a running process
lsmod driverquery Displays information about kernel modules
lscpu wmic cpu get Displays information about CPU
userdel net user /delete Delete a user from the system
lsusb devmgmt.msc Displays USB device information
lspci devmgmt.msc Displays PCI device information

File Manipulation Commands

There is a variety of file manipulation commands in both Linux and Windows operating systems. These types of commands offer a user to create, edit and show the content of files. Here is a short list of interchangeable Linux and Windows commands of this type.

Linux Windows Description
touch copy con Creates an empty file or updates the timestamp of an existing file
head more Displays the first few lines of a file
nano edit Simple text editor
cat type Displays the contents of a file

Networking Commands

Network commands are useful to diagnose network problems, changing network settings and monitoring network traffic. Both Linux and Windows have plenty of commands for performing these tasks. Some of them are equivalent in terms of what they perform. The list below shows a few of them.

Linux Windows Description
ifconfig ipconfig Displays the network interface configuration information
hostnamectl hostname Displays or modifies the system hostname
ssh ssh Remotely access and manage a system
netstat netstat Display network statistics and active connections
traceroute tracert Trace the route that packets take to reach a destination IP address, displaying each hop along the way
nslookup nslookup Query DNS servers to obtain a domain name or IP address information
ping ping Test network connectivity
tcpdump Netsh Trace Capture and analyze network traffic

Permissions Commands

Permissions commands are useful to access files and directories and define who can read, write or execute a file or directory. Following are interchangeable Linux and Windows commands to change permissions of a file or directory.

Linux Windows Description
chmod attrib Changes file or directory permissions or attributes
chown takeown Changes ownership of a file or directory

Control System Commands

This section includes the commands for rebooting and shutting down the operating system from the command line interface.

Linux Windows Description
poweroff shutdown -s Shut down the system
reboot shutdown -r Restart the system
halt shutdown -s -t 0 Shut down the system

File Compression Commands

Windows and Linux both offer a couple of commands to compress and extract files and effectively manage the storage system.

Linux Windows Description
gunzip gunzip Decompresses or extracts files from a compressed archive
gzip gzip Compresses or creates a compressed archive of files
tar tar Creates extract tar archives

User Management Commands

Using the commands of this section a user can add a new user, modify an existing user and revoke the permissions of a user or group from the system on both Linux and Windows machines.

Linux Windows Description
groupmod net localgroup /domain Modifies a group
groupadd net localgroup Manages user groups
chpasswd net user Changes a user’s password
whoami whoami Displays the current user name
passwd net user Manages user accounts and passwords

Text Editing Commands

There are many common text editors in both Linux and Windows operating systems and they can be accessible from the command line interface. Using these editors users can edit the contents of a file, modify or delete existing content and perform many other text-processing tasks.

Linux Windows Description
awk findstr Text processing and manipulation
sed sed Perform text transformations on files or streams
vim edit Edit text files in a command line interface
emacs emacs Simple text editor
vi/vim vim Text editor
gedit notepad Opens a text editor

Alternative Ways of Running Linux Commands in Windows Machine

Many Linux commands don’t have equivalent Windows commands directly. The same is true for most of the Windows commands as well. However, this is not bound to run a Linux or Windows command in the alternate operating system. Following are the ways to run Linux commands on a Windows machine even if the command doesn’t have a direct equivalent.

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

WSL is a feature available in Windows 10 and later versions that allow running a Linux environment directly in Windows. This means one can run Linux commands and tools directly in the command prompt or PowerShell of the Windows operating system.

  • Cygwin

Cygwin is a Unix-like environment and has a command-line interface. Cygwin can be installed and run directly on Windows machines. It provides a collection of tools that are similar to the Linux environment including a bash shell, GNU utilities and more. One can run Linux commands directly from the Command line interface (CLI) of Cygwin

  • MinGW (Minimalist GNU for Windows)

MinGW is a collection of GNU tools and libraries that allow a user to compile and run Linux commands and applications on a Windows machine.

  • Git Bash

Git Bash provides a bash shell and a collection of tools and utilities similar to Linux. It allows users to run Linux commands in Windows.


In conclusion, a cheat sheet of Linux to Windows commands can be incredibly useful for anyone who is trying to switch from one operating system to the other. Moreover, it saves a lot of time for users who have to use both operating systems simultaneously. I believe the list and cheat sheet of this article will help you in many ways while operating your machine.

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Md Zahidul Islam Laku

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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