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Do all Linux programs have some kind of terminal command as well? Its seems many that I use do. And many seem like terminal commands can actually be more effective sometimes.

I was just wondering if it was always programmed in to software to allow terminal commands for any given software. Like, could you pick up anything and use it fully in a terminal? (Like a messenger) I am getting the idea that it's up to the developer. If they want to incorperate the commands, they can, if not, they just have it as a GUI program. I just wasn't sure how it all worked.

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could you explain your question more, I don't get it. it's vague and not very specific. –  Alvar May 11 '12 at 19:49
    
Sorry. I'm new to Linux still... but I like the terminal to control programs. I was just wondering if it was always programmed in to software to allow terminal commands for any given software. Like, could you pick up anything and use it fully in a terminal? (Like a messenger) I am getting the idea that it's up to the developer. If they want to incorperate the commands, they can, if not, they just have it as a GUI program. I just wasn't sure how it all worked. –  user62702 May 11 '12 at 19:52
    
One of my colleagues is blind and indeed he made a console version of (I believe) pidgin (or similar) working from the commmand line and his Braille reader, so he can use the office communicator just like the others. I mean to say, it can be very powerful to create programs in such a way that you can choose what frontend you want to use (CLI/GUI) –  jippie May 11 '12 at 20:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Apps can be at least executed from the terminal. However not all apps have special built in commands specific to the program.

However on a similar note there are terminal only apps that can only be used in a terminal, And there are ones that you can open from a terminal, but only if you have a GUI installed.

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+1, about sums it up –  Matt May 11 '12 at 19:30
    
Thanks for the quick answer. Makes sense. –  user62702 May 11 '12 at 19:43
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Some apps have a frontend (GUI) and a backend. They're made up from two separate parts. The front end often allows the user to click some options together, followed by OK. This is translated into a command on the command line (the backend) with often a truck load of options. –  jippie May 11 '12 at 19:52

Although many programs have a CLI (command line interface) and can be used only from the terminal, not all work that way. It is really up to the developer of the program how they want it to work.

To see if a program has a commandline counterpart, you can either use man or --help. These are the most common ways to find out how to use it from a terminal (or what command line switches it accepts). i.e. if I wanted to find out more about the command cat, I would normally use

cat --help 

This usually provides a summary. man (short for manual pages, a central document store Linux uses for program documentation) is usually more in depth, in case --help doesn't provide the details you need.

man cat

Many times typing a command with no arguments will also bring up a summary help list, just like --help.

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