But getting started in the realm of the command line can be difficult if you’ve been raised on a steady diet of graphical interfaces. Enter CLIcompanion, a program designed to help make learning the command line a little easier. Recently pointed out by OMG! Ubuntu!, this program aims to simplify learning to use the Ubuntu command line.
Just launch this program instead of the standard command line, and you’ll have an index on-hand to help you get started. Best of all, as you learn new command line tricks (using, let’s say, one of the top 3 sites to help you become a Linux command line master) you can add them to the database.
Sound useful? Let’s get started. The program is currently designed with Ubuntu users in mind, so keep that in mind!
Launch the program and, by default, you’ll see a list of potential commands. Scroll through the list to see some basic things you can do with the command line:
Below this handy interface, of course, you’ll find a built-in command line ready for your input. You can type the commands in yourself, using the list above as a guide. Or if you prefer, you can use the GUI to launch a command. Just right-click the command in question and away you go:
You might be asked for more information, but once you provide it the command will launch. You can then watch what happens in the built-in command line.
The default programs give you a lot to work with, not to mention learn, and will be really useful for you as a beginner. As you learn more however, you might want to add the programs you discover along the way. No problem.
Adding Your Own
Adding custom software is easy, if you think you’re ready. Just click “File” followed by “Add Command“. You’ll see a window like this:
Fill in the necessary information, including the command you’d like to run and a human-readable description of what it does. If your command requires some input, such as in my example, include a human-readable description of what this input is.
Once you create your command it’s ready for your reference, or for you to run. Here’s what it looks like when I launch my custom command:
Now all I need to do is type the names of the packages I want to install and watch the magic happen. Amazing, right?
If this custom stuff doesn’t make sense to you yet, don’t worry: you’ll get it. Just work at figuring out how to use the default commands until you get a handle on how everything works!
Want to get started with CLIcompanion? I thought you might. Head over to CLIcompanion’s LaunchPad page to find an easy-to-install DEB file. Note that the program is designed for use in Ubuntu, and as such does not offer easy Fedora or SUSE packages (yet!)
Do you think this is a good way to learn to use the CLI, or can no GUI do that job? Are you using it yourself to try to learn? Let us know your experiences. Or, if you want, flame me for not offering non-Ubuntu downloads. I like everything.