the psycho cat on an HP Mini with Ubuntu
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Where's the Terminal?
Benefits of the Command-Line/TerminalA lot of new users are afraid of using the command-line (I was one of them when I first started using Linux). For some reason, the idea of typing in commands instead of pointing and clicking on buttons with a mouse seems archaic and scary to people who haven't used the command-line since MS-DOS in the 1980s.
I'm not advocating we use the command-line for everything, but there are a couple of benefits to the command-line:
Sometimes it's just faster. If I wanted to install Thunderbird graphically, it'd take me at least five clicks (and a lot of waiting) to do. If I wanted to install it via the command-line, it would take only one command:
sudo apt-get install thunderbirdOf course, you would have to know what the command is—it isn't easily discoverable, but it is useful.
More importantly, it makes it easier for others to help you. If you're on the Ubuntu Forums (or any kind of online help venue), it's a lot easier for someone to say, Here, paste this command in the terminal than to describe in detail what you should click on, and then what to click on in the subsequent dialogue. In fact, you don't even need to type at all. If someone gives you a command to type in, just copy it and paste it into the terminal.
Terminal commands also give more helpful feedback—usually a text error message if the command fails. If you have errors in the graphical user interface, you may just see something "disappear" or "hang" or "freeze."
Lastly, the terminal is almost universal across Linux distributions and is definitely universal across different flavors of Ubuntu. The instructions for installing a program graphically in Ubuntu are not the same as for doing the same in Kubuntu, but they are the same in the terminal for Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu.
You can find out more here about using the terminal:
Last updated 04/29/12 10:16
I will not give help to people posting in the above places. If you require technical support, start a support thread on the Ubuntu Forums. That is the appropriate place to ask for help.