1.1 Understanding Terminal, Console, Shell, and Command-Line in the world of computing, the terms Terminal, Console, Shell, and CLI

1.1 Understanding Terminal, Console, Shell, and Command-Line in the world of computing, the terms Terminal, Console, Shell, and CLI

In the world of computing, the terms Terminal, Console, Shell, and Command-Line Interface (CLI) are often used interchangeably but they each have distinct meanings. Here's a breakdown of what each term refers to:

Terminal

A terminal is essentially a text input and output environment. It is a wrapper program that runs a shell and allows us to enter commands. The term can also refer to a device that allows users to interact with computers, typically via a keyboard and display. There are various types of terminal emulators, such as Command prompt, guake, gnome-terminal, and terminator.

Console

The console is a type of terminal. It is a window in which your text-mode programs are active. The term is often used to refer to a physical terminal that is the primary terminal directly connected to a machine. The console is recognized by the operating system as a kernel-implemented terminal. Examples of consoles include Famicom, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Wii, and Wii U.

Shell

The shell is a command-line interpreter. It is the program that actually processes commands and outputs results. More broadly, a shell is a user interface for accessing the services of an operating system. When users log in, the shell is the primary interface they see, and its primary function is to launch other programs. Examples of shells include Bash, fish, zsh, ksh, sh, tsch, Power Shell, pwsh, cmd, yori, 4dos.

Command Line

A command line, also known as a command prompt, is a type of interface used to enter textual commands. While a terminal is one form of command-line interface, some programs have their own command-line interfaces. A command-line interface (CLI) is a computer program that processes commands in the form of lines of text. The user typically interacts with the shell via a command-line interface (CLI). Examples of Command-line interface are Microsoft Windows, DOS Shell, and Mouse Systems Power Panel.

Understanding the differences between these terms is crucial for anyone interested in computing, as they form the basis for much of the interaction between a user and the system. By mastering these concepts, you can navigate your way around a computer with greater ease and fluency.

TerminalConsoleShellCommand-line
A terminal is a text input and output environment.A physical terminal is referred to as a console.The shell is a command-line interpreter.A command line, also known as a command prompt, is a type of interface.
A terminal is a wrapper program that runs a shell and allows us to enter commands.The console is a type of terminal. It is a window in which your text-mode programs are active.The shell is the program that actually processes commands and outputs results.A command-line interface is any type of interface that is used to enter (textual) commands. One of these is the terminal, but some programs have their own command-line interfaces.
The terminal is a program that displays a graphical interface and allows you to interact with the shell.The console consisted of a single keyboard and monitor plugged into a dedicated serial console port on a computer for low-level direct communication with the operating system.A shell is a user interface for accessing the services of an operating system.A command-line interface (CLI) is a computer program that processes commands in the form of lines of text. The user typically interacts with the shell via a command-line interface (CLI).
The term terminal can also refer to a device that allows users to interact with computers, typically via a keyboard and display.A console is a physical terminal that is the primary terminal that is directly connected to a machine. The console is recognized by the operating system as a (kernel-implemented) terminal.A shell is a primary interface that users see when they log in, and its primary function is to launch other programs.A command line is an interface that allows a user to type a command (which is expressed as a sequence of characters — typically a command name followed by some parameters) and then press the Return key to execute that command.

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