A nice video introduction to the Linux terminal

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/20/a-nice-video-introduction-to-t.html

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It’s not a “Linux terminal”. It’s just a command shell (bash if on an older version, or zsh starting with Catalina) running on a UNIX-like operating system. The OS X/macOS GUI is built on top of Darwin, which is yet another UNIX derivative and it’s pretty far flung from Linux on the UNIX family tree (like a third cousin twice removed or something). Calling it a “Linux terminal” is like calling the macOS GUI a “Windows graphical interface”.

On Windows 10, install the Windows Subsystem for Linux component (it’s built in, just not enabled) and then install your distro of choice from the Microsoft Store. It works really well and you get a large swath of native Linux functionality without needing to dual boot or recompile binaries.


Learning terminal commands and shell scripting is very useful. But calling this a “Linux” terminal is nuts. Its a very basic intro to borne again (and related ) shells with common default graphical conventions (text color, etc.).


Don’t we call it a “console”?

Everytime I boot Linux I get a bunch of consoles. If I want to run a GUI, I have to start it from one of those consoles.


You can do what now?


I think the author knows the difference, and it’s just some kind of elaborate joke to piss off Stallman.




The Mac terminal environment is full of surprises for people who expect Linux behavior. Yesterday I helped my wife analyze a problem by opening Terminal and running “top”. Processes were not supported by CPU activity; to get that you must type “top -o cpu”. Which misses the whole point of using “top”.


Why, I entered a Linux terminal just yesterday by clicking on Terminal.app!

I had to ssh to my Linux computer after that, but it’s technically true that clicking on the app was part of the process.


The best thing about a real Linux terminal is that I can update my computer and every piece of software with a single command ‘pacman -Syu’ With Windows 10 it just just does it’s own thing including deleting the link to Linux in the boot menu.


are you an old fart set in his ways or a hipster? :grinning:

edit: I have held out quite long starting in text mode and only doing startx when I ‘bloody well needed’ it. But my last computer which started that way must have been in the previous century.

Quite unrelated, even. The macOS kernel is CMU Mach with some code from BSD, and many of the user space binaries are from BSD.

Being BSD based, the command line programs work similarly but are often separate projects and licenses from their Linux/GNU counterparts.

Linux is only an operating system kernel. GNU project and other software is bundled on top of it to create a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, SuSE, etc..

Far be it from me to prevent this from happening. Fuck that guy.

If you go back far enough they share a common ancestor, but then again the same could be said for any of us here – so…


With fingers on both hands, toes on both feet, and external genitalia crossed …

(I kid, I kid. I think I’ve only ever had one major problem, and that was my fault for not reading the news section on archlinux.org.)

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Isn’t Mac OS / Darwin the only remaining certified Unix available for desktops?

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Basically every Unix except for Minix and Linux are related.


Was going to say this – yes, I believe macOS is considered a full UNIX desktop operating system. At one point a good number of years ago, it received the certs to be considered a real flavor of UNIX, and not just “UNIX-like.”

Aaaaand… here you go!



This sort of pedantry is what keeps folks away from this stuff.

Besides, the OS you’re running is far less important than what toolset you are using (generally, BSD vs GNU).

More relevant to this post: videos that give an introduction to shell environments are generally useful to demystify the idea of a command line interface. and are generally relevant regardless of the flavour of Linux, Unix, or kernel you’re running.


Wah! It doesn’t include Coherent, which I ran my BBS on in 4M RAM.


Is that you, Richard?