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Linux Command Line vs. Graphical Interface

CLI is Faster and Does More

  • July 21, 2010
  • By Bruce Byfield
Bruce Byfield

In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today.

The reason for the desktop's success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

All the same, the command line continues to have distinct advantages over the desktop. Although casual users often consider the command line as prehistoric as a giant sloth, it continues to give you more options and more tools that the desktop ever has or is likely to.

In fact, for many administrative tasks, the command line is actually easier than the desktop. Looking through my BASH history, I can see at least five circumstances in which I generally choose the command line over the desktop:

1) File Management

Whether you are copying, moving, or deleting files, the BASH shell gives you far more options than KDE's Dolphin or GNOME's Nautilus. Such desktop file managers do their best, but they can only plan for the average use cases, and add confirmation dialogs to prevent users from doing something rash.

Moreover, because menu and toolbars rarely have entries for symbolic links, a whole generation of desktop users are unaware...

Read the rest of this Linux graphical desktop vs. CLI story at Datamation

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