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Getting started with the command line

Getting started with the command line

The command line is a very important tool used by software developers.

In the field of software development; the command line forms part of the development process and so its very important for you to know some of the simple basic commands to start with as a developer.

The command line is a tool for interacting with computers by using commands.

First lets see how humans interact with computers before we touch on the command line basics

Human Computer Interaction

There is a way in which human being communicate and interact with computers;

through clicking of a menu using a mouse and the keying in of digits,letters and characters in the keyboard.

All these processes are called events,

through this events the computer gets an instruction to perform a certain task and thereby responding according to the instruction given

For example

  1. when you click the file menu in your computer, the computer responds by opening the file menu.
  2. Typing a word in the search box the computer responds by navigating you to the word.
  3. when you click on shut down button the computer responds by shutting down

In our case here the mouse and the keyboard is used to navigate through the graphical user interface

what is a graphical user interface?

In a computer , the graphical user interface is user interface through which users interact with system.

The objects in the Graphical user interface include:

  • arrows
  • icons
  • pictures
  • buttons
  • tabs
  • menu bars


common examples of graphical user interface include

  • Microsoft Windows
  • macOS
  • Ubuntu Unity

But, do you know all the above are also done by using simple text based procedures typed in the command line,

there is no need of using the graphical interface,you simply need to type a simple command for execution

The command line

Now lets get back to our topic

In this article today we are going to cover the command line basics,

what is the command line?

The command line forms an interface by which programs interact through commands.

In the first section above, we saw how one can interact with the programs in the computer through the graphical user interface aided tools such as mouse,

but in here we are using commands to interact with the programs in the computer.

The interface for writing the commands is the command line interface,

found inside the computer having a procedure of opening it.

Things you need to have for you to use the command line

You need to have these two things at hand for you to start using the command line:

  • command – know the commands you are going to use
  • command line interface – for writing the commands

How do i open the command line interface?

  1. Linux
  • On linux – press (CTRT+ALT+T)

2. Mac

  • On Mac open the app folder then find terminal
  • Then On windows – (Press the windows logo Key + R then type cmd then enter)