Beyond cd and ls, Useful Linux Commands for Firmware and Software Development

Everyday I discover a new linux terminal command to add to my toolbox. This is going to be a living list of linux terminal commands that I find useful on a regular basis that goes beyond the basics of cd and ls.


For adding and removing kernel modules. I used this a lot for enabling and disabling the file storage module on my hacked kindle.

Enable module:

modprobe g_file_storage

Remove module:

modprobe -r g_file_storage


The file command tells what Linux thinks about the contents of the file. This is very helpful for firmware development and working with ARM processors.

file hello_world
hello_world: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, EABI5 version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, with debug_info, not stripped

grep -i -r

Everyone knows the grep command, but using grep to find text within any file is pretty powerful. For example, say I want to find which file(s) contains “start on” in /etc/upstart

grep -i -r "emit start on" /etc/upstart
/etc/upstart/console.conf:start on started system
/etc/upstart/ffsd.conf:start on langpicker_ready
/etc/upstart/deviced.conf:start on started powerd
/etc/upstart/lipcd.conf:start on started dbus
/etc/upstart/scanner.conf:start on framework_rea

find -name

This is probably another one everyone knows. But I just want to document this because it has saved me so much time looking for a particular file system wide.

Find a file that contains “hello_world” in its file name:

find /home -name "*hello_world*" -print