OK now you have a Linux computer, and you are ready to make it do your bidding! We're going to cover how to send commands to your Linux machine using the command line - you know, a line where you send commands!
In order to start typing those commands (list files! print this one out! open the web browser!) you will use a shell - a shell is a little like the Finder on Macs, or the desktop Explorer on windows, but is not graphical - it uses only TEXT.
A shell is a program with a command-line interface which you talk to with a terminal. Terminals are software or hardware that let you send text back and forth to a computer. Shells offer a very specific kind of command line, but what we mean in general by that term is an interface where a user types commands and the computer responds.
The shell provides the command line dialect used to navigate the files on a machine, run programs, and generally stitch things together to solve problems.
You may be a little puzzled about the way "command line", "terminal" and "shell" work together - don't worry! Although technically they are different parts of a whole, they are often used interchangeably, as in "open up a terminal", "get to the command line", or "start up a shell" - these are all basically the same thing.
My shell looks like this:
In this guide, we'll talk a little about where the command line comes from and why it's still so important, explain how to get a shell on the Raspberry Pi (and other systems), and begin to outline how it can be useful in your own work.