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What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
by deschreiber
I recently deleted Windows 10 from a laptop, installed Linux Mint (which I like — especially how much faster it boots), and started to learn the command line. It's interesting, and I understand that it's considered part of being a Linux novice, but as I work through the commands and the scripting language, I can't quite see how I will be making use of it in the future. I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:31 am
by Hoser Rob
I don't really think learning scripting is really necessary but you need some CLI chops because Linux isn;t going to have a GUI tool for everything.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:37 am
by gm10
deschreiber wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
I understand that it's considered part of being a Linux novice, but as I work through the commands and the scripting language, I can't quite see how I will be making use of it in the future. I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?
If you're not planning on automating some tasks via scripts or diving into the inner workings of your system then I wouldn't bother. Linux Mint can basically be run command line free, the days where you strictly needed CLI skills are long gone. If you're looking for support here we may give you terminal commands because it's easier for us and desktop environment-independent, but other than having to know how to copy & paste them you should be good. ;)

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:49 am
by Moem
Hoser Rob wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:31 am
you need some CLI chops because Linux isn;t going to have a GUI tool for everything.
I don't have them and I'm doing fine. All I learned is how to copypaste to and from a terminal. That's all that is needed.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 10:38 am
by michael louwe
deschreiber wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
.... and started to learn the command line.,. . I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?
.
Computer users are supposed to first test-drive Linux with a Live Linux DVD/USB before installing.

Otherwise, ignorant average computer users can sometimes be stumped when they can't get their devices working ootb(out of the box) after installing Linux, which had presented no problems ootb in Windows, eg Broadcom and Realtek Wifi adapters( https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiD ... er/bcm43xx , https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... altek.html ), USB Wifi adapters for desktops, dedicated Nvidia graphics cards, obscure branded sound cards, multi-monitor setups, USB 3G/4G modem dongles, graphics tablets, hybrid SSHDs, high-end laptops in Intel RST RAID mode, netbooks with Intel Bay Trail or Cherry Trail processors, etc. To solve some of these hardware problems requires the command-line or Terminal use.
....... So, hardware support, especially for peripheral devices, can be a problem in Linux, maybe because of the free/libre/GNU software philosophy of rejecting non-free/closed-source/proprietary software, even if they have been freely/openly licensed to Linux and supported by the hardware/OEM manufacturers.

OTOH, ignorant average users can also often end up lucky enough to have everything working ootb after installing Linux because their computers so happened to be Linux-compatible hardware-wise.

Software-wise, ie the desktop Linux OS and apps/programs, is mostly OK ootb for the average users = not much need for the command-line or Terminal.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 12:24 pm
by redx87
deschreiber wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
I I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?
I'm a bit long in the tooth for learning new tricks and find it quite a challenge to get my head around a lot of the command line jargon used in Linux. But I have persisted and picked up the basics, and seem to get by ok on that. Because there is such a wealth of info on the Linux forums, and there's always people willing to help, it's really only necessary to learn how to copy and paste commands from a webpage to the Terminal, as others have mentioned

But, having said that, I must add that I really like using the Terminal and I think I am more advanced now than merely a copy/paste user. I find that when I do type in a command and it runs successfully it's quite a good feeling to see it all happening before your eyes.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:13 pm
by oldgranola
redx87 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 12:24 pm
deschreiber wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
I I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?
I'm a bit long in the tooth for learning new tricks and find it quite a challenge to get my head around a lot of the command line jargon used in Linux. But I have persisted and picked up the basics, and seem to get by ok on that. Because there is such a wealth of info on the Linux forums, and there's always people willing to help, it's really only necessary to learn how to copy and paste commands from a webpage to the Terminal, as others have mentioned

But, having said that, I must add that I really like using the Terminal and I think I am more advanced now than merely a copy/paste user. I find that when I do type in a command and it runs successfully it's quite a good feeling to see it all happening before your eyes.
Ya, it happens over time particularly as one is asked to run the same commands again or encounters a similar need. Then a little bit of reading on the interwebs while sipping coffee or beer on 'helpful hints' etc you get more the hang of it. I do like to fiddle so I can get into trouble and have to diagnose via command line. I keep a list of commands and switches/pipes that have been useful

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:18 pm
by cliffcoggin
deschreiber wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:19 am
I can't quite see how I will be making use of it in the future. I can see how people like administrators and programmers are likely to get a lot of use out of it, but what about the "average" computer user?
When I adopted Linux two years ago I resolved to not use the command line as an experiment to see if it was possible, and with the single exception of installing drivers for a printer, I have been successful, so I suggest you ignore Terminal use until such time as you actually want to.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:47 pm
by Flemur
It sounds smarter to say "bash scripting" rather than "command line", and no, you don't need to know a whole lot. Learn how to copy/paste and be careful of 'sudo'.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:25 pm
by lsemmens
Sometimes, when getting, or giving, help, the command line is useful as it is way more accurate than trying to navigate a GUI to achieve a (relatively) simple task. That said, for most, it is an unnecessary waste of time to learn all the various commands to do stuff that we are quite capable of in a GUI. I wouldn't worry about it, unless there is something you specifically need,

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:52 pm
by oldgranola
Flemur wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:47 pm
It sounds smarter to say "bash scripting" rather than "command line", and no, you don't need to know a whole lot. Learn how to copy/paste and be careful of 'sudo'.
Problem with that is that "Bash" isn't the only command line shell we use...

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:08 am
by farkas
No need to explicitly learn linux commands but you shoul be able to use them when a responder to your post about a problem suggests a solution using them. The copy and paste method is the best way to enter them in terminal to minimize typo errors. It is a lot more efficient to use commands than using GUI. I learned some by using them often, they come in handy. In case you wonder what a particular command does see https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/linux-commands/. Welcome to Linux Mint!

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:09 am
by hcentaur13
open a browser and type: man bash
Thgat defines the handling of bash, the text shell. It may cost hours to get a quick work through but you can spend days and some time between to get confirm with al the possibilities bash serves you., To get more complete, bash is the default command shell - but not the only that exists,.

Give you yourself a lot of time to learn. Do it slowly and learn bitwise. Each day again and again. It is a lot content to learn! bash itself owns a lot of command integrated in it. Man, many commands are distributed in external commans that gets called as parameter from iother commands. As root, the master of your computer you have to learn and ,learn.,..,.,.,

The command named man is your friend. To learn you would start with
man man. That helps you to understund the command man and other commands like hep,l man ls, man sudo and so on.......
The key named "space" expand a partly typed command.
The keey up and down scrolls through the list of prior typed command.......

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:31 am
by kyphi
The simplest answer to that question is: Because it is there.

A lesson learned early was never to use a command if you do not know what that command does. Not all commands are benign and one with a typo could have disastrous consequences.

Some years ago I had the privilege of being a tester for an operating system that was entirely without a GUI - command line only - yes, it is possible.

Windows too uses a command line, go to "Run" and type cmd

It all depends on you what to do and how much you want to learn.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:34 am
by missmoondog
kyphi wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:31 am
The simplest answer to that question is: Because it is there.

A lesson learned early was never to use a command if you do not know what that command does. Not all commands are benign and one with a typo could have disastrous consequences.

Some years ago I had the privilege of being a tester for an operating system that was entirely without a GUI - command line only - yes, it is possible.

Windows too uses a command line, go to "Run" and type cmd

It all depends on you what to do and how much you want to learn.
"
A lesson learned early was never to use a command if you do not know what that command does. Not all commands are benign and one with a typo could have disastrous consequences"

exactly why i try to avoid the command line at all costs! been there and done that before. i can type, but not the greatest at accuracy. most modern linux distro's will work perfectly without ever using the command line and if ever needed, that is what these forums are for!

only command i know off the top of my head is how to edit my host file and i don't really think that's necessary when using ublock origin adblocker as it has the option to use the mvps host file built in.

fwiw, been using linux for a few years now and have wiped several of my computers of windows and usually have no issues.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 5:37 pm
by jglen490
Linux is all about choice. That's why there are so many GUI programs that do pretty much the the same thing. The command line (CLI) is the same thing - it gves you choices. For me, there are some routine tasks that are easier, if not faster, on the CLI than in a GUI.

Installing some program, when I know the name of the program, is fast as in

Code: Select all

sudo apt install <someprogram>
, rather than starting up synaptic typing in the name or some characteristic of the program, then slecting the program, then right-clicking and selecting install.

There are times when a GUI is easier, if not faster, such as if I want to install something but I don't know the name, I can open synaptic and type in some info about a program and synaptic may bring up a lot of lines. Then I can scroll up/down until I find what I want, select, etc.

So it's all about usefulness and your choice of resolving some question. I don't look at it in some elitist way (if you don't know CLI, you don't really know Linux!), rather I look at it as a way to solve some problem, or find some information that might be more difficult otherwise. It's just a tool.

Re: What use is learning the command line for someone new to Linux?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 6:05 pm
by Flemur
oldgranola wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:52 pm
Flemur wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:47 pm
It sounds smarter to say "bash scripting" rather than "command line", and no, you don't need to know a whole lot. Learn how to copy/paste and be careful of 'sudo'.
Problem with that is that "Bash" isn't the only command line shell we use...
I used ksh back in unix days, as little as possible, and only reluctantly switched to bash for linux...but now the only difference I can think of is how to repeat a command, "!" in bash and "r" in ksh, which is better.