To get my 8 yr old to start using the Terminal to open & view images/videos, I saved her favourite Star Wars & Lord of the Rings videos on the Ubuntu 20.04 machine we've given her to access Zoom classes.

Unfortunately, she doesn't use the Terminal, but instead

  1. Uses the App launcher, in the menu clicks on "Files', navigates to the Videos folder & opens the videos.
  2. OR she searches the file name in the search bar that appears in the All menu.

IMHO the only way to ensure videos/pics can be opened ONLY via the terminal is to hide the Search Bar, the 'Files' icon & the 'Videos' icon from the Menu. How do I do this?

OR is there a better way?

I'm a Ubuntu newbie and any help would be much appreciated :)

  • Yeah we do take apart old hard drives and play around with small DC motors hooked up to batteries. I think this would be a fun way to start getting comfortable with the terminal. – Jay Mar 4 at 9:25
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    Kids learn amazingly efficiently the things that are interesting. The terminal is not interesting. The terminal is boring, unforgiving, and thus, dauting. (It also might need a level of abstract thinking that 8 y.o.'s might not have yet.) Pushing this ugly, alien experience now may even risk tainting the entire positive experience with computers. I think one develops appreciation towards the terminal through dissatisfaction about other ways of doing things. But I think the kid is not there yet. At 8 the kid is not done yet with optimistically exploring (and enjoying) the "other" ways. – Levente Mar 4 at 11:29

I would not try to push my 8yr old daughter to use the terminal, especially to do something that is far more convenient doing from GUI (open a video file).

If she is smart, she will learn to use the terminal when the time comes and because she notices it is better, faster and easier to use for certain tasks.

Putting obstacles in her path to force her will only lead her to believe that Linux/Ubuntu is unusable and push her to use Windows or Mac.

I would rather install some kids software to learn programming and/or concepts of IT:


Or show her how useful the terminal can be: Buy her a Raspberry PI and make some cool projects together with her, e.g. a live webcam for her pet.

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