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Old 10-23-2005, 04:17 AM   #1
Anupam Pathak
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Unhappy Difference between Console, Shell, and Command Prompt

Hello all,
I am in a great confusion regarding difference between Console, Shell and Command Prompt. It will be great for me to get the similarities and differences between these three above mentioned terms.
Old 10-23-2005, 04:38 AM   #2
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Well, it's my understanding, that these are basically refering to the same thing.

A console (or more correctly Konsole is what KDE calls terminal windows). Some will refer to it as a shell, some as command prompt.

Usually a small TV screen type icon on a taskbar.

There are actually different "shells". The most common one appears to be "BASH" , but if you google, you'll find that there are many others.

It will often have something similar to "user@localhost $" which tells you that you're in your user account, generally signified by the $ sign. If you put in the "su" command (no " quotes of course) hit return, then put in your root password, the prompt will change to something similar to the above, but usually ending with the # sign, which tells you that you're in a root environment and can issue commands that only root can normally do (both the $ and # prompts are customisable, but those signs are the ones that are generally used as a default).
Old 10-23-2005, 04:40 AM   #3
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Console or terminal is a program that gives you access to a shell typically inside a graphical window with scrollbars. Shell is the program that gives you the prompts and interpretes stuff you type and runs whatever you told it to do. There are many shells (sh, csh, ksh, bash, tcsh, zsh, etc.) with various features. The prompt is the thing the shell prints at the beginning of a new line when it's ready for input.

Last edited by spooon; 10-23-2005 at 04:43 AM.
Old 10-23-2005, 04:40 AM   #4
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The console (or "Terminal") is a text screen where the "shell" (which is usually bash, but can be others, issues a Command Prompt (Usually $ for normal users, and # for the root user) and then listens for input (usually from the keyboard) which it interprets as a command to be executed.

See man bash



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