Console vs. Graphical User Interface

Any newbie in Linux sure wonders what is the point of using a CLI interface instead of using a GUI? After all, there are distributions that come with user friendly GUI, such as Fedora 15. Well, to be honest, I think it does not matter whether one uses GUI or CLI for operating; as long as it is intended for home use. From a system admin's perspective, CLI serves much better. Just look at the following facts:

  • SSH is used for secured remote login. Once SSH is setup (usually pre-installed), logging in to a host is very easy, does not need much bandwidth and is faster to work with.
  • Setting up secure remote GUI access requires additional setting up of software, where CLI needs SSH only.
  • If one wants to learn shell scripting, there is no alternate to getting familiarized with CLI.
  • If one knows exactly what to work with, CLI is much faster. For example, deleting all files starting with 'S' in a collection of 100 files is much easier in a CLI than on a GUI.
Well, I'm not opposing the use of GUI, but personally, I think it would be wise to have at least the basic idea about using the console. Because at the end of the day, results may vary.