Objective 1: Work on the Command Line

Every computer system requires a human interface component. For Linux system administration, a text interface is typically used. The system presents the administrator with a prompt, which at its simplest is a single character such as $ or #. The prompt signifies that the system is ready to accept typed commands, which usually occupy one or more lines of text. This interface is generically called the command line.

It is the job of a program called a shell to provide the command prompt and to interpret commands. The shell provides an interface layer between the Linux kernel and the end user, which is how it gets its name. The original shell for Unix systems was written by Stephen Bourne and was called simply sh. The default Linux shell is bash, the Bourne-Again Shell, which is a GNU variant of sh. This chapter will not cover all aspects of the bash shell. At this point, we are primarily concerned with our interaction with bash and the effective use of commands.

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