What Is the Command Line in Linux?

Hardly a day goes by when I do not sit down at my computer and fire up the command line. Whether I am installing programs or managing users and permissions I find that I am much faster when using the command line. The command line is simply much more efficient than using the graphical user interface. The command line is also known as the terminal, shell, the console, command prompt, and command line interface ( CLI).

Not too long ago many tasks that had to be completed on Linux had to be completed by using the command line interface. I feel that because this happened Linux got a bad reputation for being unfriendly for new users. Here recently Linux has been making major improvements on user-friendliness and the command line does not have to be used as often and for as many tasks.

The command line is very powerful in Linux and should not be taken lightly that being said once you learn how to use the command line and do basic tasks the command line will be very helpful when you are using any version of Linux. As a user of Linux you will want to at least learn how to do basic things in the command line and the format of commands. This will help you in your journey of using the Linux operating system.

You should note that it typically does not matter which flavor or version of Linux you’re using the commands used in the command line will typically be the same.

You can typically access the command line by opening up a terminal when using Linux in a desktop environment. This is the most common way to access the terminal and does not take you away from the GUI. You can also access the command line in Ubuntu by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + F1, which will switch you to a black screen and a login prompt asking you for your username. F1 through F6 switch to a different console or tty1 through tty6. Ctrl + Alt + F7 will switch you back to the graphical user interface.

If you are using Ubuntu then you may want to check out my tutorial on how to install the Guake Terminal which is a floating terminal in the graphical user interface (GUI) that is linked to the F12 button. to check it out, click here.

Regardless of how you access the terminal or command line the commands and functions are exactly the same.