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Introduction

5:39

The console is a text-based interface to your computer. It allows you to interact with files, folders and programs using text commands instead of windows, buttons and menus.


Video Transcript

  • 0:00

    ?music? [Deep Dive]

  • 0:03

    [Console Foundations] [Getting Started with the Console with Jim Hoskins]

  • 0:10

    Hi, I'm Jim, and we're going to be learning about the console.

  • 0:13

    The console is just another way to interact with your computer.

  • 0:20

    You really shouldn't be afraid of it. You should just try it.

  • 0:25

    Delicious.

  • 0:28

    Anyway, with the console, instead of working with windows, toolbars,

  • 0:32

    menus, and buttons, you're just interacting with text.

  • 0:35

    You perform actions by writing commands,

  • 0:37

    and you get your information back from the computer in the form of text.

  • 0:42

    Why would we ever want to do this?

  • 0:44

    Even though it seems complex and difficult to use a text-only interfaced computer,

  • 0:49

    it's actually quite liberating.

  • 0:51

    That's because when you use the console, there's much more flexibility

  • 0:55

    and consistency than when you're using a graphical user interface.

  • 1:00

    Programs can be linked together to perform really powerful actions

  • 1:03

    that would be impossible to create using simple menus and buttons.

  • 1:07

    Why should we bother learning the console?

  • 1:09

    It's how we used to interact with computers, but now we have graphical interfaces

  • 1:14

    with desktops, menus, and windows.

  • 1:16

    Well, when you're programming or doing web development or design,

  • 1:19

    some of the tools you may use may not have a graphical interface.

  • 1:24

    These tools must run on the console.

  • 1:26

    And if you're not familiar with the console,

  • 1:28

    it will be a very frustrating experience.

  • 1:31

    Websites and web applications will be deployed on remote computers called servers

  • 1:35

    and most of the time, the only way to interact directly with these machines

  • 1:39

    is to use a command line over a remote connection called SSH.

  • 1:45

    The fact is, it's hard to avoid running into the console.

  • 1:48

    And why would you want to?

  • 1:49

    Once you become familiar with the environment,

  • 1:52

    reaching for your mouse to mess with some menu will seem like a big waste of time

  • 1:55

    when you could just type a couple of words and be done with it.

  • 2:01

    Now, I've been talking a lot about the console,

  • 2:03

    but we should get more specific.

  • 2:05

    Most operating systems actually provide a console or a command prompt

  • 2:08

    in some form or another.

  • 2:10

    Because it's just a way to interact with your computer.

  • 2:13

    To understand the console, is to understand your operating system better.

  • 2:17

    But there are so many different operating systems out there.

  • 2:19

    Which one should we choose?

  • 2:21

    Linux. Now, I hear you saying, "I don't use Linux." Hear me out.

  • 2:26

    You may have heard of something called Unix.

  • 2:29

    It's an operating system first developed in the 1960s.

  • 2:33

    It created a lot of great ideas on how an operating system should work.

  • 2:37

    More importantly, a lot of operating systems were created using the same ideas

  • 2:41

    and philosophies, and they mimic Unix.

  • 2:44

    Many of these are free and open source, unlike the original Unix,

  • 2:47

    and some are not.

  • 2:50

    Linux, or GNU/Linux to be more precise, is one of those open source descendants.

  • 2:55

    Now, why is Linux important to us?

  • 2:57

    The vast majority of servers on-line run some flavor of Linux.

  • 3:02

    Another operating system that is based on Unix is called Darwin.

  • 3:06

    Darwin is what powers Apple's Mac OS10.

  • 3:09

    That means nearly everything you learn about Linux will apply to Mac OS10 as well.

  • 3:15

    Now, there are some other operating systems like BSD and Solaris,

  • 3:18

    all of which share this common heritage.

  • 3:21

    In fact, there is a standard that these operating systems share with each other

  • 3:24

    called POSIX, or portable operating system interface.

  • 3:29

    This is a standard that makes sure that all of these different yet related operating systems

  • 3:33

    stay consistent to some degree.

  • 3:37

    So, that once you know one, you can use another.

  • 3:40

    This is one reason why OS10 is so popular with web developers.

  • 3:44

    If our apps are going to be deployed on Linux,

  • 3:46

    it makes sense to develop them in a similar environment.

  • 3:50

    Now, you could use Linux on your desktop to develop,

  • 3:52

    and many do--it's a great choice--

  • 3:54

    however, Mac OS10 provides a full POSIX compatible environment

  • 3:59

    and a finally tuned graphical interface to go with it.

  • 4:03

    Now, that brings us to Microsoft Windows.

  • 4:05

    Now, where does it stand?

  • 4:06

    Well, it's not a POSIX compatible operating system at all.

  • 4:11

    The way Windows works is actually quite different.

  • 4:14

    This makes Windows a less desirable choice when doing web development

  • 4:17

    because it's not compatible with the operating systems

  • 4:20

    that we're likely to use on her web servers.

  • 4:23

    Now, that's not to say you can't use it; you certainly can.

  • 4:25

    If you're developing with Microsoft technologies like the .net suite of tools,

  • 4:30

    you must use Windows.

  • 4:32

    Now, it has a command prompt and some of the basics appear similar

  • 4:36

    between Windows and POSIX compatible operating systems,

  • 4:39

    but those similarities are largely superficial.

  • 4:43

    Even if you use Windows as your personal computer,

  • 4:45

    it's still a huge value to learn to navigate Linux

  • 4:49

    because chances are, you're going to run into it sooner or later.

  • 4:51

    So, chances are you're not using Linux right at this moment.

  • 4:55

    So, how are we going to learn it?

  • 4:56

    Well, we've built something just for you.

  • 4:59

    Click the "Launch Console" button on this page.

  • 5:01

    It's going to open up a command line window to a Linux computer we set up for you.

  • 5:06

    This is a real computer running on the Internet that you can use to follow along

  • 5:09

    and experiment with us.

  • 5:11

    If you're using Mac or Linux or BSD or another POSIX operating system,

  • 5:16

    you can use the console on your own computer if you'd like.

  • 5:19

    Later on, however, we will be using some programs

  • 5:22

    that are specific to our flavor of Linux--Ubuntu.

  • 5:26

    We recommend that you follow along as well using the Treehouse console.

  • 5:31

    Go ahead and make sure that your Treehouse console window is open.

  • 5:34

    When you see the dollar sign followed by a blinking rectangle, you're ready to go.

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Instructor

  • Jim Hoskins

    Jim is a full stack software developer at Treehouse. When he's not writing code, he's blogging, teaching, or speaking at conferences. On Twitter he is @jimrhoskins.