4.1. Why Use a Shell Prompt
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.