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01-B.12: CLI - The Good and the Bad

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    The Good of Using the Command Line

    CLI preceded GUI as a computer interface. Since GUIs are common now, why should we still care about CLI? Some advantages of using the command line are:

    • It can save you time.
    • It can help when you are unable to use the GUI, such as a system crash or a configuration issue.
    • It can enable you to use Linux in ways that using a GUI exclusively can not (such as scripting repetitive tasks).

    For example, let's say you have been told by the systems administrator that you have used too much space. You want to quickly work out where the most space is used, so using a graphical interface, start your timer - go. Now, go to a command line and type: du | sort -n (we will describe more later). See? It is faster to do some things on the command line (and other times, easier for graphical).

    The following video is a brief introduction to the command line interface. The various components of the interface are introduced, along with some tips on using the interface. More in depth information about using the CLI is in following sections of this course.

    The Bad of Using the Command Line

    But...there is also the "bad" to using the CLI:

    • It can be more difficult to learn than a GUI since we can't really "explore" like we can with a GUI.
    • Linux commands have many options which are not always consistent.
    • There are many command-line environments among the Linux, Unix, macOS, and Windows platforms and they are all different.

    This page titled 01-B.12: CLI - The Good and the Bad is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Patrick McClanahan.

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