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Old 07-16-2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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Shell, console, etc. Clarify the differences

Can just someone please clarify what are the differences (and which are just synonyms) between the words: console, shell, command line, terminal, etc. Thanks.
Old 07-16-2005, 04:55 PM   #2
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The console is a vga command line environment. A terminal is a console emulator, most of the time it's a GUI window.
The shell is a command interpreter (bash, sh)

From the linux dictionary, command line:
A space provided directly on the screen where users type specific commands.
Note: it's also correct to say console and terminal are the same

Last edited by AresXP; 07-16-2005 at 04:57 PM.
Old 07-16-2005, 05:33 PM   #3
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Heh, heh, heh. These are somewhat interchangeable terms for different things depending on who is writing about what.

Terminal can mean an actual physical serial terminal, or refer to using a virtual terminal. If not refering to an actual serial terminal it usually implies using the CLI as opposed to the GUI.

When console is not refering to a physical root console it implies pretty much the same as terminal, CLI rather than GUI.

A shell is a CLI.

Command line implies using typed commands in a text interface as opposed to clicking on icons on a graphical interface.

CLI = command line interface
GUI = graphical user interface

And to make things "much clearer" people like to mix and match those terms as they see fit.

Good Luck.


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