Introducing the Shell

A shell is any Linux program that allows you to give instructions in some way and that then carries out those instructions using the underlying facilities of the Linux operating system and your computer system. The instructions in question can be anything you might want to do, such as printing a file, starting a program, or opening a network connection. When veteran Linux users talk about using “the shell” in everyday conversation, however, they are usually referring to a command interpreter, a special kind of program that understands words and alphanumeric characters—in short, language, rather than actions like mouse clicks—and that then passes these language-based instructions to Linux.

Understanding the Shell's Role as ...

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