In This Chapter
Opening a terminal window or a virtual console
Discovering the bash shell
Using Linux commands
Writing a shell script
Sometimes things just don’t work. What do you do if the GUI desktop stops responding to your mouse clicks? What if the GUI doesn’t start at all? You can still tell your Linux system what to do, but you have to do it by typing commands into a text screen. In these situations, you work with the shell — the Linux command interpreter. This chapter introduces the bash shell, the default shell in most Linux distributions.
After you figure out how to work with the shell, you may even begin to like the simplicity and power of the Linux commands. And then, even if you’re a GUI aficionado, someday soon you may find yourself firing up a terminal window and making the system sing and dance with two- or three-letter commands strung together by strange punctuation characters. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)
First things first. If you’re working in a GUI desktop, such as GNOME or KDE, where ...