Command line Phobia

Many people suffer Command line Phobia. Lots of people still throw it up a s a negative point. Today however, while looking at the Vassal pages, I realized the default argument (too hard, too complicated) actually works the opposite way too. The page says

Linux
Most Linux distributions ship a JRE. If you do not have a JRE installed, you must install one before running Vassal. On Fedora: yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk, and on Ubuntu: apt-get openjdk-6-jre.

Oh No! Dreaded terminal code: “On Fedora: yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk, and on Ubuntu: apt-get openjdk-6-jre.”
We could do the same in the graphical interface, now lets see what you prefer..

The Ubuntu GUI way:

  • Click applications > Ubuntu Software Center
  • Write the package name in the search box
  • Pick the appropriate package and click install
  • Type administrative password when asked to
  • Repeat till all necessary packages are installed
  • Close window after its ready installing

The Ubuntu Command Line Interface (CLI) way:

  • Click Applications > Accessoires > Terminal
  • Paste the command from the site: apt-get openjdk-6-jre (If there are more packages involved, they will all be listed at once)
  • Type administrative password when asked to
  • Close the window after the command has completed the installation.

The back end for both of these commands are identical, there is no difference when you install one way or the other. Just in usability!

I for one Always just paste it in a terminal window! Fast n Easy!

There is also a Third option, where you click a link in the web page and everything else just happens:

  • Click the link: apt:openjdk-6-jre
  • Confirm that you want this
  • Type administrative password when asked to
  • Close the window after the command has completed the installation.

And I obviously prefer this method above all, but its still very new and still not very much used “in the wild”.

For completeness.. let me try n remember what it felt like to install stuff like that (Java, Flash, QT, Codecs, MS.net framework, ..) on Windows:

  • Try to find out the name of what you’re actually missing (this is usually mentioned in the documentation)
  • Google for the site that has the software you need
  • Navigate to where the necessary files are on the site
  • Download the file(s)
  • Check if its not some nasty piece of malware or whatever
  • Find the downloaded file on your pc (including this step because Ive seen loads of people fail here)
  • Run the file
  • Answer the often inane questions and wait
  • Close the installer
  • Repeat for each extra piece of software you need

And as an added Windows bonus:

  • Discover additional software installed without you really realizing it (again, including this because this happens more than not)

Again, taking Windows into account.. I prefer the short and painless Ubuntu CLI method.

The command line interface should be a plus instead of a negative argument.

Though it doesn’t matter too much either way since most users wont even run into an instance where they have to install additional software from an external site, since you can get everything you need from the software market at any rate.

Published by Gert

Person-at-large.

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