[SOLVED] Why command line still? (newbie)

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Turbojoe
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[SOLVED] Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Turbojoe » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:17 pm

OK so I've played just a very minor amount with Ubuntu over the last 15 years or so but never got the hang of Linux because of the command line. It reminds me of the days of DOS. I'm getting too old to try to remember a bunch of command line inputs AND when they are needed. For me that's the only positive of Windows. Click on install and a script does it all for you. If Linux ever does away with the command line I'll desert Windows!

That said, I just installed Mint 19 on an 8 year old box that was running Vista and hadn't been turned on since May of 2015! Vista is no longer supported by MS so I let Mint format and do a clean install. Aside from the long boot times that may be even slower than Windows I'm really happy with everything so far. I'm finding it fun to explore and see all the cool software that is included in the basic install with even more available for free.

So far there have been only a few times I had to use command line for getting updates etc. following one of the many "10 things to do after installing Linux Mint" posts that Google showed. It just seems to me that these inputs could be put into some kind of .exe or .bat file for those of us that aren't computer nerds and really don't want to be. I seriously don't want to spend all my time learning programming skills.

I'm not ranting. I'm just curious why the archaic command line inputs are still necessary. As it is for me I'll bet it's intimidating enough for others that they stay with Windows. I'm sure there's a logical reason for continuing to use a command line but this newbie can't wrap his head around it.

Joe
Last edited by Turbojoe on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Schultz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:37 pm

What DE did you chose, Cinnamon, Mate, or Xfce? If you installed Cinnamon, you might want to consider switching to either of the other two. That might reduce your slow boot time.

Also, with Mint one rarely "has to" use the command line.

PS: .exe and .bat files are Windows only; for Mint you'd look for .deb and .sh files (this is for informational purposes only, it's never a good idea to randomly download unknown stuff).
Last edited by Schultz on Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by gm10 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:39 pm

Turbojoe wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:17 pm
So far there have been only a few times I had to use command line for getting updates etc. following one of the many "10 things to do after installing Linux Mint" posts that Google showed. It just seems to me that these inputs could be put into some kind of .exe or .bat file for those of us that aren't computer nerds and really don't want to be. I seriously don't want to spend all my time learning programming skills.

I'm not ranting. I'm just curious why the archaic command line inputs are still necessary. As it is for me I'll bet it's intimidating enough for others that they stay with Windows. I'm sure there's a logical reason for continuing to use a command line but this newbie can't wrap his head around it.
Installing random stuff you find on the Internet. Have you learned nothing from Windows?

Linux Mint comes with Update Manager and Software Manager to handle all your software installation and updating needs. The choice to use the command line was yours alone.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by sarge816 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:40 pm

I think for the average joe, most never have to utilize the command line at all. I know when I first installed Mint in 2009? I was astounded I didn't have to go out and hunt for drivers at all and most of the software I needed was already installed - everything just worked. My usual 2 hours Windows install (make that God knows how many hours now with Win10 and updating) was a quick 10 minute process installing LInux Mint and done. Extra software has always been easily accessible in the Software Manager, even if some of it may be a bit outdated.

That said, as a more advanced user, I have had times when I did need to utilize the terminal (command line). I have been using Linux for ~10 years now and am still a newb, I simply find the command I need on the interweb and cut & paste - voila.

I agree, it would be perfect if you never had to use the terminal, but I suspect in many cases the average user never does. After using Windows since 3.1 up to 7 (nothing past that has touched my computers) and all the registry BS, corruption, viruses, malware and windows "rot," I think the occasional terminal use isn't such a bad trade off. And you can't beat the price. :mrgreen:

BTW, welcome aboard.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Turbojoe » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:13 pm

Hmm, post was made in the newbie section, not sure why it was moved to chat but it's no big deal.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid but it seems every time I read where someone is trying to help another user there are tons of "terminal" (I'll try to stop saying command line) inputs needed. Sounds like I don't need to be quite so concerned after all. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Next is to figure out Wine. I have three older Windows games that I don't want to give up. Call of Duty 2, Cube 2 Sauerbraten and Microsoft Flight Sim X on Steam. If I can get them going I don't need Windows anymore and I'll go Linux on my main box with all the good stuff in it. I'm in no real hurry to do any of this as I'm just trying to repurpose this old Vista box as it was just sitting there doing nothing. Not sure the even older XP box is salvageable at all for anything other than XP. I only use it as a platform for testing batteries, motors and various electronics for my R/C airplane hobby. It works fine for that. It's not even connected to the network.

Joe
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by gm10 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:17 pm

Turbojoe wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:13 pm
Hmm, post was made in the newbie section, not sure why it was moved to chat but it's no big deal.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid but it seems every time I read where someone is trying to help another user there are tons of "terminal" (I'll try to stop saying command line) inputs needed. Sounds like I don't need to be quite so concerned after all. Thanks for the encouraging words.
Because this is chat, you are not looking for support.

If you were I'd be bombarding you with a bunch of terminal commands as well. The reason is simple, they are portable no matter your graphical environment and easy for you to execute via copy & paste. Doesn't mean you need to learn about them for normal usage of your system if you don't want to.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Moem » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:30 pm

Turbojoe wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:13 pm
it seems every time I read where someone is trying to help another user there are tons of "terminal" (I'll try to stop saying command line) inputs needed.
It's just that it's easier to give someone a terminal command that will most likely work in any Mint system, than it is to lead them step by step through a maze of menus and options that may not be the same as they are on your own system. I know I have certainly made changes to my system and then forgotten about them, so when I told someone 'this or that should be in your menu'... oops, it wasn't. :oops:
Terminal commands are a lot more universal. And the terminal gives feedback, so if something doesn't work, there is usually an error code. Much more informative than a window that closes and you don't know why. :?

I'm not a terminal hero at all. But I can copypaste commands that others suggest to me, and that is usually more than enough. No worries though, you won't see much of the terminal during normal day to day use unless you want to!
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Schultz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:52 pm

If you want some practice, :wink: type this in a terminal: inxi -Fxzd, press enter, and copy/paste the results back here. That will show us what DE you installed and your computer specs. Might be helpful if you want to speed up your boot time since you mentioned it's slow. :)

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Turbojoe » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:01 pm

Schultz wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:52 pm
If you want some practice, :wink: type this in a terminal: inxi -Fxzd, press enter, and copy/paste the results back here. That will show us what DE you installed and your computer specs. Might be helpful if you want to speed up your boot time since you mentioned it's slow. :)
Here you go. I told you it was an old system. :wink:

Code: Select all

System:    Host: turbojoe-A880G Kernel: 4.15.0-29-generic x86_64
           bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.8 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1)
           Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine:   Device: desktop Mobo: BIOSTAR model: A880G+ serial: N/A
           BIOS: American Megatrends v: 080016 date: 09/21/2011
CPU:       Quad core AMD Phenom II X4 975 (-MCP-) 
           arch: K10 rev.3 cache: 2048 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4a svm) bmips: 28804
           clock speeds: max: 3600 MHz 1: 2300 MHz 2: 2300 MHz 3: 2300 MHz
           4: 800 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Juniper XT [Radeon HD 6770]
           bus-ID: 01:00.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 )
           drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           OpenGL: renderer: AMD JUNIPER (DRM 2.50.0 / 4.15.0-29-generic, LLVM 6.0.0)
           version: 3.3 Mesa 18.0.5 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Juniper HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 5700 Series]
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-29-generic
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCIE Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: e800 bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Broadcom Limited BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller
           driver: b43-pci-bridge bus-ID: 03:06.0
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 320.1GB (5.0% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST3320620AS size: 320.1GB
           Optical-1: /dev/sr0 model: ATAPI iHAS324   Y
           rev: BL1X dev-links: cdrom,cdrw,dvd,dvdrw
           Features: speed: 48x multisession: yes
           audio: yes dvd: yes rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r,dvd-ram state: running
Partition: ID-1: / size: 293G used: 15G (6%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 31.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 38.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 207 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 987.1/3944.8MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.191) inxi: 2.3.56 

Joe
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Schultz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:03 pm

You did install the Cinnamon desktop. I'm no expert, but I'd bet the farm you'd get a faster boot time with either Mate or Xfce on that older machine. In my opinion, Mate is better than Xfce (and Cinnamon too).

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Turbojoe » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:11 pm

Schultz wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:03 pm
You did install the Cinnamon desktop. I'm no expert, but I'd bet the farm you'd get a faster boot time with either Mate or Xfce on that older machine. In my opinion, Mate is better than Xfce (and Cinnamon too).
So here's my next stoopid question. What difference is there that I would notice between the three desktops? I haven't timed it yet but I'd say close to a minute for full boot to login screen. If a change will only save 5-10 seconds it may not be worth the hassle unless the new desktop is even more friendly.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:14 pm

but Xcfe is faster than either of the other two.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by JerryF » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:14 pm

Turbojoe wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:11 pm
So here's my next stoopid question. What difference is there that I would notice between the three desktops? I haven't timed it yet but I'd say close to a minute for full boot to login screen. If a change will only save 5-10 seconds it may not be worth the hassle unless the new desktop is even more friendly.

Joe
I don't know the ins and outs, but for one thing, Xfce and MATE don't use so much graphic power. That alone helps with memory and making them snappier than Cinnamon.

Which Windows version are you using? If it's 8 or 10, you may have a quick booting time because it's set for Fast Boot. Fast Boot hibernates Windows, so it loads quicker.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by Schultz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:43 pm

JerryF wrote:
Which Windows version are you using? If it's 8 or 10, you may have a quick booting time because it's set for Fast Boot. Fast Boot hibernates Windows, so it loads quicker.
The OP had Vista (it was in his first post). In any event, Mate or Xfce will run snappier on that older machine. "How much so" is the proverbial $64,000 question. :)

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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by all41 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:36 pm

Advanced windows users also use the command line.
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by jimallyn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:48 pm

I have been using Linux for 16 years, and while I do use the command line/terminal now and then, I do nearly everything with the GUI. However, there are times when the command line can be very useful. As you've already seen, there is a command that will tell us most of what we would want to know about your computer should you have any problems. One of my brothers started using Linux back around the time I did, 2002, and as far as I know, he never uses the command line. And I put Linux on computers for another brother and a sister a couple years ago, and I don't think they have ever used the command line, either. And I sent a laptop with Linux on it to yet another brother of mine a few months ago, and I'd bet money he has never used the command line. You don't have to use the command line, but it can be very convenient to use it sometimes.
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by lsemmens » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:29 am

Moem wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:30 pm
Turbojoe wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:13 pm
it seems every time I read where someone is trying to help another user there are tons of "terminal" (I'll try to stop saying command line) inputs needed.
It's just that it's easier to give someone a terminal command that will most likely work in any Mint system, than it is to lead them step by step through a maze of menus and options that may not be the same as they are on your own system. I know I have certainly made changes to my system and then forgotten about them, so when I told someone 'this or that should be in your menu'... oops, it wasn't. :oops:
Terminal commands are a lot more universal. And the terminal gives feedback, so if something doesn't work, there is usually an error code. Much more informative than a window that closes and you don't know why. :?

I'm not a terminal hero at all. But I can copypaste commands that others suggest to me, and that is usually more than enough. No worries though, you won't see much of the terminal during normal day to day use unless you want to!
+1 Far easier to say "type this" than to say, "look for the little button about half way down the screen, now, right click........"
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by trytip » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:30 am

i totally hated command line and didn't need to ever remember anything. it's not my job i'm no developer so i'm fine with not remembering any commands. for the longest time (i started using linux in 2011) i would not even remember sudo apt-get update it was always a combination of these words i got mixed up like sudo aptget-update or sudo-apt get update or sudo-apt-get-update so i let things go and like most linux users started my own cheat sheet and copied all the commands in a text. but not being organized and switching distros a few times my notes have become a mismatch of the most used linux systems which are close enough in some ways and then so far apart in others. some days i read what i put down and can't for the life of me remember what the command does or if it's dangerous since many of my entry have no description next to them

i know there's a really simple command to delete all your files in your root partition but for some reason i never remember it, even though i seen it explained many times on youtube. i'll try it out next time i boot mint, see if timeshift will restore it :mrgreen: i'm sure it will, it seems to restore everything perfect everytime i delete mint and try a new distro. arcolinux has a new revision, i'll test that and then put mint back, not sure why so many users have problems with timeshift, maybe i'll run into a snag myself then i'll know.
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by JosephM » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:36 am

Well, the suggestions here about installing XFCE or Mate to get better boot speeds are nonsense given your information. You said the boot time from power on until login screen. Changing DE's won't affect that. If performance is poor after logging in, a DE change could be beneficial.

In your original post you also commented about having to use the terminal, but you went out of your way to look for "10 things to do" type info. You didn't HAVE to use the terminal. In most cases you can use a modern Ubuntu based Linux distro without really having to touch it. It mostly comes up when troubleshooting for reasons others said.
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Re: Why command line still? (newbie)

Post by rambo919 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:15 am

lsemmens wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:29 am
+1 Far easier to say "type this" than to say, "look for the little button about half way down the screen, now, right click........"
You overestimate the typing and memory abilities of the average human..... this way is easier for you yes but not for most people on the other end especially since simply needing to also press shift to copy and paste already causes confusion.

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