Working with the Linux operating system requires you to have knowledge about the terminal and the command line. It is essential to know what these things are, to be at least slightly familiar with their usage and the standard commands available. What is a Terminal? A terminal is described as "a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture. Though typically synonymous with a shell or text terminal, the term terminal covers all remote terminals, including graphical interfaces. A terminal emulator inside a graphical user interface is often called a terminal window”. To be precise, a terminal is simply the outside.

Inside a terminal runs a command line interpreter that is called a shell. Debian Linux supports a long list of terminal software. This includes the Aterm, as well as the GNOME terminal, the Kterm, the Mate Terminal, the Rxvt, the Xterm and the Xvt. These different implementations of terminal software vary in terms of stability, support for character sets, design, colors and fonts, as well as the possibility to apply background images or work with transparency. In my revolution campers, I use the GNOME terminal because of its stability, simplicity and adjustability. In order to increase and decrease the size of the content that is displayed inside the terminal window; use the two-key combinations CTRL+ and CTRL-

What is a Shell?

Simply speaking, a shell is a sophisticated command-line interpreter.

In a loop the shell reads characters, modifies them under certain conditions, and executes the result. Under certain conditions, between reading from the command-line and the execution of the actual result, the shell must interpret special characters that are part of your input.

Your Linux system allows the usage of various shells. Each shell is available as a separate software package through the Debian package manager, Aptitude, we installed earlier. The list of shells is quite long, so we list only a selection of the available shells that are the most popular: Almquist Shell (ash) Bourne Again Shell (bash) Debian Almquist Shell (dash) Z Shell (zsh) C Shell (csh) Korn Shell (ksh) Tenex C Shell (tcsh) Unless otherwise stated the examples in this document are based on the Bourne Again Shell (bash). At the time of writing this document this is the default shell on Debian. Which other shells are allowed in your Linux system, is set up in the configuration file /etc/shells?