If you have terminal open, you are now looking at a black screen with a blinking cursor, and the program that just loaded (most likely) is Bash. Bash is a program that opens in a terminal, and is the default on most Linux distributions. It should look something like this:


If you click the terminal and press enter a bunch of times you'll notice the line that you see repeats itself: this recurring text is called the prompt (it prompts the user for input). In my example you see the name dave, which is my username on the system. You also see dataDyne, this is my computers hostname, or the name of the specific machine I'm logged into. You then see ~, which is a shortcut path that leads to my users home directory. Lastly you see '$': that sign means that my user is a typical user, and not root. Root is the administrator account of the computer that has full privileges to everything on the system. Root will have # instead of $.

Bash is simply a program that accepts input, processes it, and supplies output. This type of program is referred to as a shell; the sh in bash actually stands for shell. This tutorial will show you how to navigate, understand, modify, and control your computer using bash as a shell.

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