Apps

Poll: How often do you use the Windows command prompt?

Does the command prompt still have a place in the GUI world? Take this quick poll and let us know what you think.

In a recent TR Dojo video, I five handy command prompt tips for power users and IT pros. While I'm not a command prompt purist, shunning the GUI at all costs, I believe the command line will still be useful for years to come. What about you? Take our quick poll and let us know.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

32 comments
m-3
m-3

I had two DOS applications, and wound up accessing one or the other almost daily ... UNTIL I was forced to get a new computer, which runs Vista. Neither app will run under Vista (and I did try "the tricks," including DOSbox). Now I need to find replacements for both apps.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Most of my friends don't use it these days, as they find Windows utilities suit them, however when I end up resolving their issues, as well as other people's I always start up a CMD prompt to get to the meat and ptatoes of the system and see what's going on without the system freaking out due to Windows issues. One a week anyway, but not daily.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I use nbtstat, ping, tracert, ipconfig, nslookup and a few others on a daily basis. While it is open, I'll also use it for starting programs I normally click start --> run for; like notepad.exe and mstsc.exe. Speaking of mstsc.exe, why did they call it that? I mean would remtdesk.exe or something like that be too simple? I realize it is technically "terminal services client," but everyone calls it remote desktop. I don't use it outside of network testing, troubleshooting and verification. Batch files are handy, but I prefer vbs.

AllGeek2Me
AllGeek2Me

Command line rules. (Oh Oh, UNIX background showing thru.) Couldn't go anywhere without it!! Fast, direct. What mouse?

firstaborean
firstaborean

I very seldom use the Windows command line as such, nor do I use the "Run" dialog much at all, but I do use batch files, which are, after all, an automated means of using the command line. They make some complex jobs extremely easy.

rsaustin
rsaustin

I'm a workstation user and not a true IT guy but for ease of getting away from the desk I use the command line to run batch files on the shutdown command. Shortcuts are one-click on the desktop for a down 'n dirty ShutDown or Restart.

liltwin1101
liltwin1101

As an Oracle DBA with databases on Windows, I use the prompt daily and several times a day. I code and use batch programming regularly, so a good grasp of the cmd prompt funtionality is needed. I am not a developer and do not like coding. Although the cmd prompt is not something I like to use, it is a necessary evil which I hope they do not eliminate. Also, thanks for the Windows command prompt tips. I was not aware of many of them and they will be very useful.

PavithraJai
PavithraJai

I use for various reasons like for java program execution, opening various different files etc..

kwitzell
kwitzell

As an Oracle DBA I use the command prompt often, mostly because that is how I learned and some old habits are hard to break!

Slayer_
Slayer_

Either to run batch files, or to register DLL's or to regasm .NET dll's.

jensen
jensen

If you, like me, use the command line interface a lot, you need to look into PromptPal and Take Control. PromptPal is a terrific CLI enhancement; TC is that and more. Of course the ultimate is a POSIX CLI for Windows; several products, both free and not, are available.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

mostly to ping or ipconfig. I notice most of the previous responses also use it more to troubleshoot communications than Windows itself. If we don't count pinging, I use it weekly.

dmeireles
dmeireles

I even prefer to browse the drives using the command prompt, and whenever I am in the dir I want to work on, I just type "explorer ." to open an explorer window in that same location. Just wish the command prompt in Windows was more powerfull and that would allow you to see the output of a program for debugging (like in Linux, for example).

ecwinslow
ecwinslow

I checked monthly; on the other hand I use cygwin over and over and over and over and .... all the time.

brian
brian

About once a week, and I am a user, not an IT specialist Brian

george.flecknell
george.flecknell

The only reason I am using cmd less these days is because I don't actually get to spend as much time fixing things. That is just modern IT.

david.valdez
david.valdez

There are too many things, even in "modern" Windows versions (Vista and 7) that require the use of the command prompt, such as ipconfig...I don't see how you get away from it...moreover, things such as powershell also have command prompt dependency...

LarryD4
LarryD4

I'm a command prompt child, I will always command line.

richard
richard

If you're like me you start cmd.exe right away when you sit down at a client's cranky PC. From there you can go straight to ncpa.cpl, inetcpl.cpl and appwiz.cpl or shutdown -r -f -t 0. Network diagnostics (ping -n 1, tracert, pathping, ipconfig /all, etc) are all fast and not subject to "...Now what is it doing!)

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

Take out communications (ping, tracert, ipconfig, nslookup, etc) I don't think I would ever go into it. I take that back...batch files and scripts but then again, I'm not in cmd I'm just using it from a text file.

richard
richard

When at the directory of choice in a command console window, one may also type: "Start ." (no quotes) You can get to any other folder this way - just be sure the "." is the last char in the string! Example: "Start %windir%\."

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's available as a free optional upgrade via Windows Update. It's probably what you're looking for.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Your profile says IT Consultant?...Huh?

Shellbot
Shellbot

not quite power user of it..but i'm learning more all the time :)

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

I use the command prompt (terminal window) more times than I can think of. Nearly everything you can do in GUI, you can do in the terminal, only faster. Yes, no fancy schmancy interface, but I do not care. I just want to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

1bn0
1bn0

answers what actual username was logged in and what domain and server authenticated the account. Questions usually starts with. "I can't" Answer is because you are not logged in or are not logged in correctly.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

Telnet, ping, nslookup... BTW - Does anyone else remember the W16 program Imposter? It was an improved "command-line" with all the extras that NT+ CMD.EXE has.

NexS
NexS

But I use the command prompt pretty much everyday for things such as ipconfigs, pings, trace roots etc. I would assume that most people who work with IT, windows or not, would need something like the cmd.exe in their work, excepting for the developers who do nothing but code... But even then, they might use it. At the end of the day, it's a very useful tool. :)

dmeireles
dmeireles

yep, that is true alright. still, you know that a lot of IT support personal isn't aware of those wonderfull things called user variablles!? btw, regarding powershell, I thought that it was Windows Server exclusive. I'm giving it a try now, and.... OMG!!! So much power in a windows command prompt now! Hell yeah! Thanks for the suggestion

Editor's Picks