By now, you might have started reading more about Linux. Whatever guide or article you read; I bet most if not all had commands at some point or the other. Being a novice, it is expected that you didn’t get head or tail of the commands. Now you ask, Does knowing commands is so essential to learn Linux. To give a quick answer – Yes & No!
Linux has been around ever since computers were invented. Early on the computers didn’t had any GUI (Graphical User Interface) for user to work upon. The user only had the command line to get his tasks done. Not only Unix but Windows (MS-DOS) too didn’t included any GUI. To operate computer via inputting commands at a shell was not a cup of tea for ordinary home user. To remedy this GUI was made which facilitated normal users to use computers without any hiccups. It then became the de facto for all OS’s to include a GUI.
GUI was welcomed wholeheartedly by all computer users but still there was a niche category which still used CLI (Command Line Interface). These people who used CLI were not gone bonkers but they were those who knew the capability of CLI. For those unaware, GUI is just a graphical front-end to CLI. In simpler terms, when you click over any button, the computer executes commands camouflaged under beautiful GUI. In short, the computer ultimately resorts to commands to get your work done behind the scenes.
GUI has evolved a lot since its birth but still requires users to do a lot of clicking & menu digging. At times, using commands can save a lot of time than digging under the complex menus which are omnipresent in GUI. Commands also can be combined with various flags or parameters which help to fine-tune the output. Piping of commands can also be done to save time. Sometimes, certain configuration options are kept hidden under the GUI which can be accessed only via command line. Thus, commands are essential if you plan to master Linux.
At the end of the day, knowing commands can make you highly competent to master Linux (or any OS for the matter of fact). If you aspire to grab a position of Linux Administration then knowledge of command line is of prime importance. If you do not plan to get into Linux administration still knowing a few basic commands will certainly help you. I know you might be shuddering with the horror of the black command line screen but don’t worry it’s not that difficult. Though the commands might not appear user friendly but you need not worry. I will walk you through the basics of commands in my upcoming posts which will impart enough confidence in you to face the world of command line. Once you get fairly acquainted with the command line, I bet you won’t ever use a GUI.