This tag is for questions that are about using the command-line interface (CLI), including the use of standard command-line tools and shell commands. However, for questions that are specific to each shell (like Bash, ZSH etc.), use the tag of that particular shell as well.

What Questions Should Have This Tag?

  • How do I do this via command line?
  • Basic Command Line commands
  • Shell Specific commands (use shell specific tag as well)

Basic Definitions:

Command Line Interface is a way of interacting with the system and software by typing text commands into a terminal (or terminal emulator).


The command-line is also known as

  • Console
  • Terminal
  • Command prompt
  • Shell (however, be aware that applications other than the shell can have their own command line interface)

Brief Introduction to the Subject:

"Under Linux there are GUIs (graphical user interfaces), where you can point and click and drag, and hopefully get work done without first reading lots of documentation. The traditional Unix environment is a CLI (command line interface), where you type commands to tell the computer what to do. That is faster and more powerful, but requires finding out what the commands are."

from man intro(1)

Some users prefer using the command line for some tasks because it saves them time and effort. They also benefit from being able to create scripts to automate common tasks, and they can use the command line to configure their operating system on a very low level to exactly fit their needs.


Important Links for Learning More:

Questions using this tag might be related to Bash - the default command line shell in Ubuntu, Shell-Scripting and Programming.