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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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Making the Best of the Command Line

The Linux command line interface might evoke the old DOS-like days to some, but it provides a quick, efficient way of entering commands and executing actions. Even if you’re mostly a “point-and-click” person, after you get the hang of using the command line, you discover that it’s faster to perform some tasks there than with a mouse in the GUI environment. However, if you prefer to use a GUI interface as your working environment, you can easily open a terminal window, which is a command-prompt window, to perform your command-driven tasks without having to completely leave the point-and-click environment (see Chapter 6).

There are some interesting things that you might find useful to know about using the command line interface. One difference between the Linux command line and other interface command lines, such as the Windows MS-DOS prompt, is that Linux commands are case-sensitive. Typing LS is completely different from typing ls, and, in fact, gives you an error because there is no LS command. The Linux command line also has an autocompletion feature. If you know the first few characters of a command or filename, type part of it and press Tab to complete the rest automatically. For example, if you’re trying to use the less command to view the contents of the file /home/bob/grocery_list, you can type less /home/bob/gro and press Tab to try and complete the filename. However, if you also have the subdirectory (folder) /home/bob/group_projects ...

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