View Poll Results: Do you spend more time with the GUI or the CLI?

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  • GUI

    358 62.59%
  • CLI

    189 33.04%
  • What the hell is GUI\CLI?!?!

    25 4.37%
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Thread: GUI vs. CLI

  1. #1
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    GUI vs. CLI

    I'm just going to straight up ask the community on this one. Please beat me up and tear my logic apart- I'm posting this for that reason.

    As many know I try my best to help out new Ubuntu users. Many of us do, and its a great thing. Often on this forum I will tell people commands to put in the command line to fix their problems. Recently I was told that this is not the best thing, as it scares away new ex-Window's users who associate "command line" with "Dos" (this ignores that fact that a big "feature" of longhorn will be a functional CLI). Azz, another moderator here is big on giving answers that fix problems through a graphical method if possible. Supposedly the Ubuntu developers themselves have set out a goal that "an Ubuntu user shouldn't need to touch the command line," but until they make a GUI tool for ndiswrapper (aka the hardest thing for a new user to do) I don't put much weight into their opinions on the matter.

    I personally tell greens commands because :

    A. Instructions using a GUI require pages of screenshots with areas circled in gimp or whatever. Its harder to write a good way to work through the GUI...they are very intuitive to me so I leave out steps that my brain assumes. Anyone that has done tech support on Windows can tell you the problems here.

    B. No one can mess up copy and pasting a command. You CAN mess up entering info in many dialog boxes in a GUI.

    C. I kinda have this idea that greens need to get used to the way Linux does things. Many of the howtos on this forum require some work on the command line. It seems like unless someone set up the computer for you and all you do it make office docs and surf the internet you will one day have to face the command line (if only to run the program you just downloading in synaptic but a menu option wasn't added for it). Till now I've been of the opinion "they need to just get used to it early on.....its not like we have a YAST or something like that so command line work is inevitable." I mean....look at your grub menu....."safe mode" in Ubuntu is the command line.

    D. When I first started with Linux I was afraid of the command line too...but now I think is is very powerful and I would hate to go without it. It doesn't have the negative connotation with me as it does with some people. If the betters I got my early advise from didn't force me to use the command line (by only helping me that way) I wouldn't be half the *NIX admin I am today. Now (after using Linux for less that a year) I can fix a Ubuntu computer from the command line.

    E. The guide uses the command line so I want to be consistent.

    F. There is no F

    So...what do you guys think? Is pointing newbies to the command line a bad thing? If they are afraid of it should I be honest and tell them "the only Linux I know of that liberates itself from the command line is SUSE?" Should we make more guides to do things in a graphical way? Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"
    Those folks who try to impose analog rules on digital content will find themselves on the wrong side of the tidal wave.
    - Mark Shuttleworth

  2. #2
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    I think you are working too much.. may i invite you to drink some beer and look at some women?

    The command line scares new users.. but who the hell is going to teach them step by step how to click in endless buttons? not me...

  3. #3
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by sapo
    I think you are working too much.. may i invite you to drink some beer and look at some women?
    Thanks but I already have my favorite beer in the fridge and my girlfriend wouldn't like me oogling other women.

    The command line scares new users.. but who the hell is going to teach them step by step how to click in endless buttons? not me...
    Glad you can see me side of the story....I want to hear the other side though.
    Those folks who try to impose analog rules on digital content will find themselves on the wrong side of the tidal wave.
    - Mark Shuttleworth

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    like you, i prefer the command line, because thats what i got used to. Ubuntu was my first distro, and when i went looking for help for things, i found the unnofficial guide, which of course is all commands. i find commands easy to do, so i use it. i think all new users should use commands when theyre available, how hard is it to explain a new user how to type something into a box? now try and get them to do the same thing with a GUI, its much harder, but for some reason they feel more secure doing it. i really dont understand how someone could fear a command line, especially since a large portion of new linux users havent used anything older than windows 9x in the past

    -Wild

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    Technically i am a noob, i really don't know half of the things that you guys do, hell i don't even know what this ndiswrapper is, however, like yourself's i think the command line is a fine tool, all major OS's that i have seen use one, Mac has one, even repairing XP desktops requires knowledge of DOS *shudders*. I say technically because i have been using Linux for almost a year and a half now. So i know some things, and as i think down this path what graphical tool is there for fsck?

  6. #6
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by WildTangent
    like you, i prefer the command line, because thats what i got used to. Ubuntu was my first distro, and when i went looking for help for things, i found the unnofficial guide, which of course is all commands. i find commands easy to do, so i use it. i think all new users should use commands when theyre available, how hard is it to explain a new user how to type something into a box? now try and get them to do the same thing with a GUI, its much harder, but for some reason they feel more secure doing it. i really dont understand how someone could fear a command line, especially since a large portion of new linux users havent used anything older than windows 9x in the past

    -Wild

    STOP FREAKING AGREEING WITH ME!!!!!


    Just joking.
    Those folks who try to impose analog rules on digital content will find themselves on the wrong side of the tidal wave.
    - Mark Shuttleworth

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    I mean....look at your grub menu....."safe mode" in Ubuntu is the command line.
    Ha, ha. It's not so "safe" on my computer, anyway!

    Other than that, I quite agree. I think another consistency improvement would be to specify full paths and an editor when asking them to edit a file, and don't assume they know when to sudo.

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/fetchmailrc
    not "edit the fetchmailrc file to include ..."

  8. #8
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcooncat
    Other than that, I quite agree. I think another consistency improvement would be to specify full paths and an editor when asking them to edit a file, and don't assume they know when to sudo.
    I usually do. I try to be good about that. That is a good rule. never just say "you need to edit this file with sudo." I give the command in quotes.

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/fetchmailrc
    For graphical apps its better to use gksudo:

    gksudo gedit
    Those folks who try to impose analog rules on digital content will find themselves on the wrong side of the tidal wave.
    - Mark Shuttleworth

  9. #9
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    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by poofyhairguy
    So...what do you guys think?
    1.Is pointing newbies to the command line a bad thing?
    2.If they are afraid of it should I be honest and tell them "the only Linux I know of that liberates itself from the command line is SUSE?"
    3.Should we make more guides to do things in a graphical way?
    4.Will Ubuntu ever reach the lofty goal of "never needing the command line?"
    [My numbering]

    1. No. Knowledge is good. But knowledge should not be confusing.
    We should not instruct users in a way that alienates them.
    Is it better than a graphical alternative? For a new user probably not.

    2. SuSE/Novell sends out excellent documented official subscription e-mails that instruct users (both new and established) on the many ways that their SuSE system can be managed, tweaked, and secured. They sometimes mention a GUI method if available in YaST, but by and large the examples are from the command line. The SuSE/Novell support website is filled with command line instructions and tutorials.

    My point being that sending a new user over to SuSE will not keep them from being presented with the command line as a method of system maintenance. I would argue that we do the same here, only we rely more upon that method since we have less GUI tools available.

    Now, if Ubuntu did in theory have an equivalent amount of GUI tools and someone posted a question in the new user section at our forum, only to be answered with a series of commands and scripts for something that a YaST-like module could easily handle, then I'd say we were being negligent to the needs of our members. But this day has not yet arrived.

    However, a user should feel comfortable with their system. If they need to run another Linux other than Ubuntu to achieve this, then I would have no problem advising them of this and helping them to find a better fit. I know of no goal of Ubuntu which states that it wants to be the only choice of every Linux user.

    3. Yes, but we are quite short on GUI's at present.

    4. Of course it can be done. How many Windows users still use command prompts?
    Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.
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  10. #10
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Command Line and Ubuntu

    I'd say Linux without a command-line is a long, long way off, so till that time new users need to be introduced to it. It's a very scary thing in most cases so the earlier they get used to at least doing a couple of things here and there, the better. It doesn't have to be a throw in the deep end, it can just be splashing your feet in the water, as long as you realise that in the end, it's just water (or a command line).

    On a side note, I'm getting pretty annoyed at Windows' auto-complete (TAB) feature. I'll type 'cd Proga<TAB>' and change into the directory, and the VERY NEXT THING I'll type is 'ls'! Every time!
    Mr. Flibble's very cross.

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