The Love Hate Relationship with the Linux Terminal

I love Linux. Don’t say that in public. Why? The majority of the computer users in our world have a difficult and complicated relationship with Linux. People have the impression that Linux is complicated and a time-consuming operating software. The command line interface of Linux also known as the terminal makes people think that it is perhaps the love of a geek.

If you are completely unfamiliar with the concept of a terminal within Linux, then you might understand if you remember the MS-DOS window in Microsoft Windows operating software. The terminal is used to run the computer by giving command inputs using the keyboard. It is a common misconception that the terminal is the only graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used in Linux. However, many of the people who have difficulty enjoying the wonders of the command line will be surprised to know that you can operate a Linux computer just the way you do in Windows. It is absolutely and entirely possible to work on Linux without ever using the terminal or command line.

How the Terminal is Beneficial and Loveable

The Linux Terminal
The Linux Terminal

There are many reasons to fall in love with the command line interface. A Linux lover might as well be walking with a list of these reasons right in their pockets to prove the reliability of the command line that so many have come to dislike.

Have you ever looked up computer solutions or troubleshooting procedures online? If you do then you will find that many websites will guide you with commands instead of screenshots of the series of steps. There is no doubt that screenshot trend is becoming common but there was more advantage to the command line solutions. The reason is that it is much easier to enter commands in a terminal window than following complexed screenshot steps. All you have to do is to copy and paste the given commands into the terminal window and voila!

Moreover, we are using different desktop environments due to the rapid change in technologies. Solution providers will have to navigate their screenshot steps to suit each individual desktop environment. However, the commands and the command line window will almost remain the same.

How to make the Command Line/Terminal Easier for Oneself

  • The first step to learning anything is to frequently use it. How many of us attended training programmes to learn basic computing? We learnt the strange language and interface of the computer because we took interest and used it.
  • Make a list of common commands and try using them one by one in the terminal window.
  • Perhaps Linux itself understands the stress it has caused, therefore providing users with the ‘man’ and ‘info’ commands which give information about other commands.

Typing might seem tedious to some but in reality, it is much time saving and effective to directly type commands to get the desired results. Once you develop a habit, you will come to like Linux if not outright love it.

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