If there's one thing surrounding Linux usage that bothers me more than anything else, it's when the detractors say you cannot work with Linux without knowing the command line. This is a bit of FUD — fear, uncertainty, and doubt — that keeps new users from giving the open source platform a try. I'm here, right now, to dispel that myth.
SEE: IT pro's guide to working smarter with Linux (Tech Pro Research)
When I first started using Linux back in the late 90s, there was no way to avoid the command line. In fact, most everything I did was typing commands. Over the years, that's changed to the point you can go your entire Linux desktop existence without ever having to touch a terminal.
As a new user, you don't want to have to type commands. You want everything handled by a pretty GUI. As you should. Linux can do just that. Many of the modern desktop interfaces have done a great job of covering everything that once required a command—at least on the new-user level. Need to configure networking? GUI. Need to extract a zip file? GUI. Need to manage file permissions? GUI. Install, update, or configure applications? You guessed it: GUI.
This, of course, applies mostly to the desktop. If you're looking at working with Linux on a server, you better be prepared to work with the command line. But as far as everyday, desktop usage, you don't ever have to touch the command line. Unless you want to.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.