The command line is a software tool included with an operating system to give users the ability to feed commands to the operating system for immediate execution. Using the command line contrasts with using the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of the operating system. Many users prefer using the command line over the GUI because of the speed and power afforded by command lines.
For example, consider simply copying a set of files between two folders in Windows. In order to copy all the text files from C:\stash\ to D:\test dump\ you would need to first open the original folder in Windows Explorer, highlight all the files you wanted, then either use a keyboard shortcut or the right-click context menu to first copy and then, after moving through Windows Explorer to the new folder, paste.
Using the command line, however, you would simply need to type copy *.txt d:\test dump\. As the operations become more sophisticated, the command line (and scripts/batch files that automate command line work) really shine as efficient alternatives to the point and click GUI experience.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 03/17/13