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Old 02-16-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
true_atlantis
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linux text based?


Is linux texed based? Linux on its own needs a shell to interperate commands. I was in class and the teached asked "what do we know about linux?" And I said its texed based. The teacher did not agree with me. So my question is lunux on its own texed based? Or is it the shell that is texed based? Like KDE is a GUI that runs over linux, what is the shell running over? From wht I understand linux on its own must come with a shell so the user can talk to the OS. But is it valid to say linux on its own is texed based? And what is a good argument that I can use to explain this to my teacher?

Thanks
 
Old 02-16-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
frob23
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Linux is a kernel... it is not "text based" per say. Although it isn't graphical either... it's just the layer between the user and the hardware, which allocates resources and all that. The shell is a seperate thing entirely.

Now, linux without a shell is pretty useless unless you hack together a system of programs which will never result in your needing the shell (possible but it's more work for a less flexible system, so it's not really desirable).

Still, I have to agree with your teacher -- as a general thing. As a specific thing... kernel messages assume they are going to a device which resembles a tty -- which would be text based or at least pretend to be... so you could argue it from that perspective. But arguing this is pointless and a waste of energy... let it go.

Edit: Just to make a note, Linux does not require a shell to interperate commands as programs call directly into libraries or the kernel. The shell provides a human interface and a way to link commands together.

Last edited by frob23; 02-16-2006 at 02:37 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2006, 02:35 PM   #3
MensaWater
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You're discussing the difference between CLI (Command Line Interface ) and GUI (Graphical User Interface).

Linux/Unix did start with a lot of CLI but much of it can be done via GUI now though power users prefer the CLI (especially as it allows for scripting).

Similarly Windows started as DOS which was all CLI. Originally Windows was loaded on top of DOS. Now Windows is primarilly GUI but still allows for some CLI (start-->run-->cmd).

Discussing which is better is more of a religious debate than a technical one though people on both sides would give you technical aguments to support their position. As for me I avoided Windows like the plague when it first came out because I didn't see a need for "namby pamby GUI if you know what you are doing". Since then I've found a lot of GUI tools that I reluctantly admit I prefer to use though often I have to figure out how to do the same thing via CLI sooner or later for scripting purposes.

Conclusion: "Text" doesn't quite fit so I'm afraid to say I'd agree with your instructor on terminology though it seems to me he should have realized you were using the wrong term rather than the wrong concept.
 
Old 02-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #4
Robhogg
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See this from LinuxDevCenter for a definition of Linux. Interestingly, DOS (which is usually considered to be definitely text-based) also requires a shell, which is provided by COMMAND.COM

Quote:
As for me I avoided Windows like the plague when it first came out because I didn't see a need for "namby pamby GUI if you know what you are doing". Since then I've found a lot of GUI tools that I reluctantly admit I prefer to use though often I have to figure out how to do the same thing via CLI sooner or later for scripting purposes.
I have the same sort of feelings. For instance, some things are better done on the command line with MySQL, but a graphical front end makes other things (e.g. changing a single item of data, or integration with other programs) much easier.

Rob

Edited to remove unnecessary repetition of what others have said

Last edited by Robhogg; 02-16-2006 at 02:59 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
true_atlantis
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the reason this cam up was because the teacher was insinuating that linux is a graphical interface. the intial question was 'what do we know about linux?' and neither of us were correct, it is not text based, and it is not graphical, it is a kernal, or a way to talk to the hardware.
 
Old 02-16-2006, 04:47 PM   #6
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by true_atlantis
the reason this cam up was because the teacher was insinuating that linux is a graphical interface. the intial question was 'what do we know about linux?' and neither of us were correct, it is not text based, and it is not graphical, it is a kernal, or a way to talk to the hardware.
I believe in this context, one would assume that "Linux" meant an operating system environment--as contrasted to "Windows", "Mac OS-X", etc. Each of these has a kernel, and can be used with either a CLI or a GUI.

In Linux, the Graphical interface comes thru a desktop manager such as KDE or Gnome--which in turn interface to the X-Windows system.

CLI would normally be assumed to be equivalnet to saying "text-based".

I think the correct answer is that you were both right......
 
  


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