Useful Commands: introduction

01.12.10

Learning useful shell commands help save time & effort.

Do you have to use the command line?  No, you don’t have to use it.  I didn’t use it much when I started using Linux.  But, in my opinion, learning useful shell commands helps you get the most out of Linux.

What are some benefits of using the Command Line?

  • When you need help from the Linux community, many helpful solutions are expressed as commands to be run in the terminal.  It’s done this way for simplicity, accuracy, and consistency.  Many graphical-based (GUI) programs are “front-ends” where a user triggers events (via menu choices & button clicks) that execute terminal-based commands in the background.
  • Many jobs in the IT and web development field require candidates to be comfortable on the command line.  This implies the ability to issue shell commands and use console-based text editors such as vi and emacs.  Some jobs will also require you to understand (and perhaps troubleshoot) pre-written shell scripts in many languages.
  • For repetitive tasks, using the command line is just plain faster.  Why wait for a GUI program to open, click on things, or browse for file(s) to manipulate one file at a time?  You could simply type one or more commands [and options] into a prompt to accomplish the same.  When you find yourself issuing the same commands a few times, it becomes apparent to save these command calls in a text-based file (a shell script) to make the process even faster.  More on this to come.

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