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|The Beginners Guide to the Ubuntu Terminal|
|Desktop Training - Ubuntu 8.04|
The advantages of using the command-line Terminal to accomplish tasks are great. The speed of using the terminal in a fraction of that it takes to accomplish the same task graphically. Try installing a package using the synaptic package manager. That would include at least six clicks of the mouse and typing in the root password once. Or you could use the terminal by clicking on Applications --- Accessories --- Terminal. (Kubuntu users click Menu --- System --- Konsole, Xubuntu users click Applications --- Accessories --- Terminal) Once you've opened the Terminal with your first click you can type sudo apt-get install amarok Then enter the root password and that's it. You package will be downloaded and installed from the terminal window.
From this example you can see the difference in speed, but another advantage of using the Terminal window is the return you get when something goes wrong. If you're using the GUI desktop to accomplish a task and something happens you generally get a one line description but if you're using the Terminal you will receive a more in-depth description of your problem. Yet another advantage to using the command-line Terminal is the universal element that giving commands holds over using a GUI. As you can see from even trying to locate the Terminal, the path to accomplishing a task with the GUI may vary when you're using Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc. While Terminal commands aren't always the same in different distributions, you can issue the same commands for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu and count on their effectiveness.
If you prefer to point and click instead of typing any commands into the Terminal you may find shelter under a few other Linux distributions like Mepis, Linspire and a few others. And also this all depends on what you use your computer for. If you play Solitaire and use the Internet to interact with your friends and that's it, it's possible you may never need the Terminal window on Ubuntu.
Lets take a look at some very simple commands on the Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron desktop that will allow us to effectively accomplish some small tasks. After you've opened the Terminal window you can start typing in the commands. Below is a list of some useful commands and what they are used for.
Movement In The directory
Managing Files and Text
Managing System and Program Information
Managing Network Connections
Manage Drives and Formats
Managing Rights to Files and Directories
Managing Users and Groups