Terminal commands vs GUI

Why not just use the terminal, no need to install a bunch of software for small purposes that your computer already can do.

It is NOT a bunch of software.
A single line command to add one function which is missing in Nautilus. Caja and Thunar have this function built in.

(We are discussing about enabling Open as Admin (Root) function in Nautilus)


You really don't need it, I remember using it with nemo. Like I said, you can just use the terminal. Maybe it's better for noobs, but I prefer to just use the terminal.

That is your opinion.
You have to be very careful not to mix up the fact with opinion.

The fact is that the majority of new Zorin users are coming from Windows. You really do not want to alienate those people giving the instruction in command line only.

If you want to take that course, I recommend you to go the Arch forum where CUI is much highly regarded than here.


In my opinion, learning with the command line lets you know a lot more about the system and how to be a more productive user of Linux.

Command Line is also the easiest way to give instructions, GUI needs pictures or very detailed steps. Making a tutorial with Command Line is much easier.

I understand that new users may be hesitant to try to use the Command Line, but it really is the most powerful way to manage your computer. A new user can get use to using the terminal, it's just what most Linux users do, it's the way of Linux.

Not my daughter-in-law :wink:
She does most of everything in GUI (she is a Mint user).
I think it is impossible to generalise your opinion.

I agree with you 100%.
But it is also important to start from the easier level.
Just like when we learn how to ride bicycle, we need support wheels at the beginning.

From my own experience, I used GUI a lot at the beginning. Command line comes gradually as the time goes by. It was a natural, not a forced evolution.

I understand you are using Linux for your pleasure but majority of adults are using Linux to get their job done.

While it is a beneficial thing to learn the Terminal command, we cannot spend all our working hours just for that. We have a family to look after, bills to pay and food to buy. I think you can understand how it is like to be a responsible adult.


You can't do everything in the terminal, u still going to run into a problem at some point. @FrenchPress should split the thread to keep the focus of this thread.

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Actually now I am curious to see how other users feel about Terminal command vs GUI. Since we deviated so far from the OP's question, I'll create another thread and move our discussions there.

We are warped to the new thread with a moderator's magic wand

[edit 2]
Actually, depending on what one wish to do with the system, it is possible to run everything from command lines. Almost all server machines are devoid of desktop and runs on command line only.

For example, I have a CUPS print server installed on a Raspberry Pi, which has no desktop. If I need to do anything with this server, I simply SSH to it and does everything in a terminal.


I can see both sides on this one.

I think everyone has no doubt on where I stand on the terminal. It is a powerful utility that can do pretty much everything you need done.
But when I first migrated from Windows to Linux, I had been conditioned to avoid the command prompt as often as possible and use only GUI. The terminal was a frightening field of Unknowns.

I strongly believe in encouraging and teaching terminal use as understanding the terminal will open up whole new worlds to Linux users, empowering them in ways that alleviate a lot of frustration in using any OS.
This is partly due to the Limited Use Case of many GUI apps.
But the user must set the learning pace, not the teacher.
If you try to force the terminal on someone, they will resist. Just as I did, at first.


I'm comfortable with CLI because that was what I used during the first 15-odd years that I used computers. I started using GUI when I started using Windows in the mid-1980's and continued that practice when I started using Linux in the mid-2000's.

I still use CLI in both Windows and Linux from time to time, but I use it sparingly, primarily for disk operations (preferring Powershell to Window's Disk Management and the terminal to Gparted), and sometimes for software/hardware installation and updating. I use CLI in those cases for the same reason that I absolutely refused to use a GUI for developing websites -- coding by hand is the best way -- and sometimes the only way -- to get things right.

But in general, I use GUI rather than CLI, and I am careful to respond to issues using GUI instructions whenever possible when I'm responding to questions in this and other forums, particularly when answering questions from new adopters.

I understand that many/most experienced Linux users advocate CLI, and some even insist that learning CLI is the only way to fully learn and understand Linux.

That may be true, but in my opinion, it is a counterproductive approach for a distro, like Zorin OS, that is specifically designed for new adopters. I realize that CLI "is the way of Linux", but learning to use CLI is a long, and often steep, learning curve for users not accustomed to using CLI.

I read most of the threads in this forum, and I did that too when I moved from Ubuntu to Solus OS in 2017. I read the forums diligently because I believe that reading the forums is the best way to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a distro -- read a couple hundred threads, even just scanning, and you learn a lot about a distro.

But reading the threads -- particularly reading the threads in this forum over the last six months, because I was new to Zorin -- leads me to make an observation about CLI and learning Linux.

Almost always, the person helping the person who has a problem asks a number of questions to figure out what the problem is, and then answers with something like this, without explanation of what the commands do and/or how the operations fit into the larger scheme of Linux:

Try this:

snap list
sudo apt remove --purge snapd
sudo apt install --reinstall gnome-software && sudo reboot

Let us know what happens.

To me, that doesn't teach much about Linux, and the person copying/pasting or typing the commands into the terminal is no wiser coming out than going in. To me, that is a weakness in the argument that CLI leads to understanding Linux.

I am not -- please note this -- criticizing the people who work long and hard, free of charge and without expectation of any reward at all -- to help people in this forum, and I recognize that at best, those of us who try to help people with issues don't have time for more than a few sentences of background explaining the "what and why" before moving to the "how".

But the example, I think, points to an issue that can arise with using CLI as a teaching tool -- it is all too easy to "learn" the command line as a set of keystrokes as solutions for specific problems, and that isn't the equivalent of learning anything about Linux.

I agree with you that most new adopters who use Linux for a year or two will eventually start using CLI to a lesser or greater extent, but I also agree with your caution that most people using Linux use it to get the job done, not to learn the ins and outs of Linux. I think that's particularly true of new adopters, and that's the reason that I suggest that new adopters run Zorin out-of-the-box for 6-12 months, changing only what can be changed in settings.

That's true (and I think that both of us, who started using computers in the CLI-only days, have a much better appreciation of that fact than younger people who started using computers in a GUI environment and subsequently discovered the command line) but that isn't what new Linux adopters need. New Linux adopters need to be able to run Zorin (for example) out-of-the-box and have Zorin "just work" without resort to the command line. To the extent that Zorin doesn't meet that need, it fails in its intended purpose, in my opinion.


I always say what does the commands do, I ALWAYS

Very true.
I used to always state what the command is for and what it does.
But you may notice how hopping the forum has become lately... When you are trying to get caught up to 34 new posts each time you log in, it is much harder to take the time and really detail a post out. You just hammer something out and move to the next one.



I understand your feeling...

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I will forever think of the Forum as Whack-a-mole now.

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Or Samsara as we say in Buddhist teaching :upside_down_face:

I was always taught to learn terminal first and then the GUI version.
The difference is that I'm a Linux admin and you need to learn terminal for when your server is upset and the GUI isn't working. In the days if UNIX, there's wasn't a GUI.

I use the GUI for a lot of things and also love scripting. Adding or expanding disk in RHEL 5 is easier in the GUI. For OL8 the terminal is easier, pvresize, lvextend, xfs_growfs and your done.

If the PC is a tool then they want the OS to get out the way and let them do their job. My son's a rigger/animator, his PC is a tool for him to work on his animations. He doesn't want to have to learn ksh or bash, he wants to login as quickly as possible and starting using his applications.

On the otherhand, I'm an Oracle DBA and Linux administrator, I love getting my hand dirty, writing bash and python because it makes my job much easier and repeatable.


My terminal experience is a quite hacky one. I recently setup a complete headless server purely out of necessity.

I wanted to run a print server with an old RaspberryPi with 1GB memory. I tested different distros but even the lightest BhodiLinux add some overhead.

I finally decided to go for headless, installed a Debian server and was amazed how fast the RasPi runs without a desktop.

For me, command line is like an encyclopaedia or telephone book. We only refer to them as we need. Reading from a cover to cover is not the most efficient way of learning it.


I look at this in a similar fashion:

I am not a computer guy or a software engineer. I am a mechanic.

I did not start out as one, though.
I started out in computing, one of my first jobs was working for Sega.

I could type out a very long history about a guy in his twenties (which reflected in my bank account), but suffice to say, when I needed to rely on a reliable vehicle to get me to work and it was Unreliable; I quickly realized that a Basic Working Knowledge of vehicles was necessary.
Even if I was not a mechanic.
What started out as me ensuring I knew what an alternator was and how to replace it evolved into knowing how to rebuild it. Followed by transmissions, engines, carburetors... I ditched the white button up shirt and picked up the Hand Tools.
To this day, each person that comes to my shop gets all their replaced parts returned to them in a box along with a step by step walkthrough on what work I performed, what it was performed on and why. Many politely look impatient. Many don't care- they don't want to know how their car works. They just want it to work. But it takes little to change their mind when I show them what leads to being broken down on the side of the road, scared and uncertain what to do - and knowing how to take a problem and turn it into a solution.

A person needs to know the terminal.
Even if they are not a programmer.
Many do not want to learn the terminal at first and don't care about how it works. They just want it to work.
But the difference can be made by knowing how it feels to have your computer broken down and you have no idea what to do and feel powerless.

Here are the tools - To turn problems into solutions.


Exactly my feeling.
That is why I assemble my own computer.
This way I can repair not only the software but also the hardware issue by myself. Knowledge empowers us all.


I grew up in an age when every teenager spent half his life with his head under the hood and his butt sticking out ...


... and I grew up on a farm where knowing how to grab the toolbox and do basic repairs in the field was a critical life skill.

But the last car I understood was a 1973 AMC Gremlin with a straight-six, manual transmission, carburetor, distributor, bearings I had to grease regularly and other artifacts of a long-gone age. I kept that car for a long time, and I worked on it when it needed working on.

My current car is a 2019 Chevy Sonic, and beyond changing the oil and other fluids, keeping track of tire pressures and tread wear, changing and rotating tires, replacing bulbs as they burn out, and a half dozen other real basic things, I don't pretend to understand that car at all. The engine is buried under anti-pollution equipment and the car seems to be run by computers to which I have absolutely no access, and none of the diagnostic equipment needed to analyze if I did have access.

I still have a "farmer's ear" and can often hear a problem developing before something breaks down, but I can't fix much as and when things go wrong.

I'm long past the age when I'm going to crawl under a car, but I'm just curious how much you think your customers need to know, and how/where they should get that knowledge?