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OpenSuSE 11.1 Quick Start Guide
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8.0 Shell Basics

When working with Linux nowadays, you can communicate with the system nearly without ever requiring a command line interpreter (the shell). After booting your Linux system, you are usually directed to a graphical user interface that guides you through the login process and the following interactions with the operating system. The graphical user interface in Linux (the X Window System or X11) is initially configured during installation. Both KDE and GNOME desktop and other window managers you can install use it for interaction with the user.

Nevertheless it is useful to have some basic knowledge of working with a shell because you might encounter situations where the graphical user interface is not availableā€”for example, if some problem with the X Window System occurs. If you are not familiar with a shell, you might feel a bit uncomfortable at first when entering commands, but the more you get used to it, the more you will realize that the command line is often the quickest and easiest way to perform some daily tasks.

For UNIX or Linux several shells are available which differ slightly in behavior and in the commands they accept. The default shell in openSUSEĀ® is Bash (GNU Bourne-Again Shell).

The following sections will guide you through your first steps with the Bash shell and will show you how to complete some basic tasks via the command line. If you are interested in learning more or rather feel like a shell power user already, refer to

OpenSuSE 11.1 Quick Start Guide
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