Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Everything Can be Done in the CLI (Mostly)

I love the command line and truly believe that it is an ideal interface for the Desktop. It's speed is unparalleled. It's simplicity and flexibility is far superior to anything that can be done with xorg and any GUI. Mind, I'm not a completely idealistic or ignorant to the advantages of a GUI. I'm a KDE and Openbox fan, but I'm constantly drawn to the sheer power and flexibility of the command line that I feel can never truly be reach by a GUI.

I am also drawn to Desktop applications because it is what I know and use everyday and it is what I find interesting. Most people use a computer as a Desktop. Server administrating my may be interesting to some, but I find it very boring and frustrating. Plus, most sys admin's tasks are done on the CLI anyway.

I passionately feel that nearly all tasks that are done in the Desktop can be done from the CLI. I understand that there might need to be some "work-arounds" or extra steps taken on the CLI to accomplish a similar task in the GUI, yet I think it will be a fun challenge.

This being said, I have begun a list of Desktop tasks and the command line applications or options available to complete those tasks. You can find this list here. This is just a list I've thrown together, which I hope to develop as a much bigger community resource. It is a work in progress which I hope to expand and improve. My vision is to have each application link to a resource of some kind. It may link to a tutorial which explains how to use the application or a link to a script that automates a long or repetitive process. Essentially, I want it to be a resource for users to draw upon to be able to complete any Desktop task in command line.

Please send me recommendations as to how to improve this resource. Help me to fill in the blanks. You'll notice a lot of blanks in the Development section. That's because I'm not a developer. Help me with additional solutions to tasks. Please offer suggestions as to how to improve the layout or organization of the list. I hope to have this hosted on my own website sometime, but for simplicity sake I have it on Google Docs. Please make any other suggestions you see fit.

Ways to make comment:
1. make a comment to this post.
2. email: jared (dot) bernard ((@)) gmail (dot) com
3. twitter:


HarleyPig said...

CLI Twitter - ttytter

Nathan R. Hale said...

Great post! Thank you for taking the initiative on this resource. I linked to it from

Jared said...

Nathan. Thanks for helping get the word out.