But how do you use the shell

From Linux Shell Scripting Tutorial - A Beginner's handbook
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To use the shell you simply type commands. A command is a computer program, which is built to perform a specific task. Examples of commands include:


If your Linux system is booted into a text mode, you can start using the shell as soon as you log in. If you started in a graphical mode (GUI), such as the Gnome desktop or Kde desktop, you can open a shell by going to Applications >> Accessories >> Terminal.

Using Linux Terminal

Alternatively, you can switch to a virtual console by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1 and logging in with your username and password. To switch back to graphical mode, simply press Alt-F7. You may want to add terminal application to the panel. It's useful to have within short reach.

Using The Terminal

A Linux terminal provides a means by which to allow you to easily interact with your shell such as Bash. A shell is nothing but a program that interprets and executes the commands that you type at a command line prompt. When you start GNOME or KDE or X Windows Terminal, the application starts the default shell that is specified in your system account. You can switch to a different shell at any time. In this tutorial, you are going to use GNOME terminal.

Configuring The Gnome Terminal Program

Linux Terminal Profiles

The gnome-terminal program is fully configurable. You can define profiles which set the following options for you:

  • Foreground and background color.
  • Font size and type (family).
  • Windows title and command
  • Scrollback buffer.
  • And much more.

How Do I Edit A Profile

To edit a profile:

  • Select Edit > Current Profile
  • Select the profile you want to edit, then click Edit.

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