Using the command line

programming cli

Command line is a term often used in the context of computer programming. It’s a text interface for the computer. No buttons or pop ups - those are associated with graphical user interfaces (or “GUIs” for short). All personal computer operating systems have a command line interface (or “CLI” for short).

In Windows it’s referred to as the Command Shell or Power Shell. In macOS and Linux it’s often a program called Terminal (although there are many other CLI programs you can download). Although macOS and Linux distro’s share the same CLI program name, the commands used to talk to the computer can behave differently. I’ve listed a few good tutorials for reference.

Most of the posts on this website are written from the perspective of a macOS terminal or iTerm2 CLI. You might find the command $ vim, but that just means text editor. Feel free to use Atom, VS Code, TextMate, Sublime Text, etc. for editing files.