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The Linux Command Line by William E. Shotts Jr.

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Your First Keystrokes

So let’s get started. Launch the terminal emulator! Once it comes up, you should see something like this:

[me@linuxbox ˜]$

This is called a shell prompt, and it appears whenever the shell is ready to accept input. While it may vary in appearance somewhat, depending on the distribution, it will usually include your username@machinename, followed by the current working directory (more about that in a little bit) and a dollar sign.

If the last character of the prompt is a hash mark (#) rather than a dollar sign, the terminal session has superuser privileges. This means that either we are logged in as the root user or we’ve selected a terminal emulator that provides superuser (administrative) privileges.

Assuming that things are ...

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