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introuble 10-29-2006 10:06 AM

CLI or GUI? [Desktop/Workstation]
Think of the majority of programs you use regularly. Do you seem to prefer CLI or GUI?

[p.s.: Think Desktop/Workstation.. not Server because in that case it is obvious. And by workstation I mean.. well.. software development workstation.. or any kind which does not imply GUI tools ONLY.. thus talking about boxes where you have a choice between CLI and GUI programs]

Also, do you think a 100% CLI box is usable/justifiable [on a ..pretty modern box (read: not old hardware)] ?


I used to prefer CLI, I even used to be 100% CLI. Now I seem to be 100% GUI and am considering I go either 100% cli.. or.. framebuffer [thus "minor" GUI features].. or.. something like.. FluxBox/FVWM but only CLI tools [all run out of xterms].. am pondering about it.

I suppose CLI can give you a bonus proficiency.. as some are more likely to be able to switch/manage/etc. different programs faster and easier if they are only using a keyboard. Disadvantages for 100% CLI are obvious.


Yup, I'm asking for opinions, not facts.

vharishankar 10-29-2006 10:53 AM

In my opinion, there's no point to prove by choosing either GUI or CLI. The two are not mutually exclusive by any means. Personally after years of using Linux, it seems to me that it doesn't matter, so long as you're productive in what you do.

GUI is suitable for some tasks. CLI for others. I don't see any conflicts in that...

reddazz 10-29-2006 11:01 AM

I think you should have put an option for both. I usually login to KDE, but also have konsole opened with several tabs because there are some things I prefer to do in the CLI.

introuble 10-29-2006 11:13 AM

I'm sorry.. I didn't explain well.. I'm not asking to chose between 100% CLI and 100% GUI but rather which of the two gets the higher percentage on your box.

vharishankar 10-29-2006 11:17 AM

As I said, personally I don't measure my usage of CLI or GUI, but use whichever suits my purpose at that particular moment. :)

chadl 10-29-2006 11:39 AM

On my box at work I only have a CLI (I don't have an X Server installed), because all I do is manage other servers over SSH, or do programming using vi. For web browsing I use Lynx, and for checking e-mail I use Pine. Both of these programs in the gray area of GUI, because they only use keyboard input, but has menus and buttons of a GUI.
I like just using the CLI because when all I am dealing with is text, there is no point in having a colors that just take up screen space and CPU time. Another benefit of using the CLI is that it promotes a greater understanding of Linux, beyond what you get when clicking on the icons. Although I don't like to admit it, it does make you look very important/smart when the boss walks by and can understand none of what appears on your screen (after the last cubical he walked by where the occupant was playing solitaire).

As for my home system, I use a GUI (Fluxbox), mainly because of Firefox. I do tend to have a number of x-terms open at any given time, however.

pwc101 10-29-2006 12:02 PM

I tend to log into X and then have four or five aterms open each doing something different (compiling, writing scripts, ssh to work etc). I then have amarok, gaim and firefox sat open as well.

PatrickMay16 10-29-2006 12:46 PM


I use both. I like to use the command line, but I also like to have a full GUI environment like GNOME, if I'm on hardware fast enough to run it.

But I probably use the GUI more.

muddywaters 10-29-2006 01:20 PM

Voted gui. Where is the "whatever is most convenient" option?

Most apps/utilities seem to have a frontend and I prefer working that way.However if an option isn't available from the frontend it's off to the cli. For a simple example, if a batch type of process is needed a 'for loop' is much handier than searching for a frontend with that option.

edit/ forgot to mention error messages are more informative with cli.

trickykid 10-29-2006 01:45 PM

90% of the time I'm dealing with servers, so 90% of the time it's CLI. Do I prefer one over the other? Sure, CLI for all administrative tasks, editing files, etc. GUI comes into play when I'm editing graphics or browsing the web.

aldimeneira 10-29-2006 02:14 PM

They aren't mutually exclusive. I use a GUI mostly, but have a CLI icon on the top-right corner (google FITTS+law+interface)... deleting large files takes forever on the GUI (but I think it's more due to a poor implementation), for small software modules I prefer compiling on the CLI, etc.

aysiu 10-29-2006 04:06 PM

I prefer having both available.

jhigz 10-29-2006 10:55 PM

Voted GUI, but like everyone else, prefer CLI for curtain tasks.

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