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Linux Magazine: Avoiding The Mouse Trap [Command Line Intro.]

Apr 22, 2000, 21:22 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Hal Moroff)

"Linux's graphical user interface is improving, but there comes a time when we all must descend into that scary and obscure world of the Linux command line. Though communicating with your computer via keyboard rather than mouse can be a bit intimidating at first, most people find that picking up just a few simple commands can go a long way toward making them much more efficient and happy Linuxniks."

"When you type a command on the command line, what you're actually doing is telling the computer to execute a particular program. For example, if you type pwd on the command line and hit "Enter," what you're doing is executing the program named pwd. While this is a very simple program (all it does is print the name of the directory you're in), it is still an executable program."

"Sometimes you have to feed a command some extra information before it can properly execute. Each part of this extra information is referred to as a command-line argument. So, if you see something like ls -a foo, the command is ls (which lists the contents of a directory) and the arguments are -a (which tells ls to list all types of files in the directory) and foo (which is the name of the directory you want to see listed)."

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