4.1. Why Use a
Graphical environments for Linux have come a long way in the
past few years. You can be perfectly productive in the X Window
System and only have to open a shell prompt to complete a few
However, many Red Hat Enterprise Linux functions can be
completed faster from the shell prompt than from a graphical user
interface (GUI). In less time than it
takes to open a file manager, locate a directory, and then create,
delete, or modify files from a GUI, a task can be finished with
just a few commands at a shell prompt.
A shell prompt looks similar to other command line interfaces
with which you might be familiar. Users type commands at a shell
prompt, the shell interprets these commands, and then the shell
tells the OS what to do. Experienced users can write shell scripts
to expand their capabilities even further.
Figure 4-1. A Shell Prompt
This chapter explains how to navigate the file system,
manipulate files, perform simple administration tasks, and other
shell prompt basics.