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Chapter 1

Differences Between Command Line Interface and Graphical User Interface

Desktop software should already be installed on your hard disk or on an accessible server in your network. If you are unsure that you have access to the desktop software, see your system administrator, or refer to the installation manual for your specific platform.

This chapter briefly describes the differences between the command line interface and the desktop environment.

Command Line Interface

A command line interface (CLI) enables users to type commands in a terminal or console window to interact with an operating system. Users respond to a visual prompt by typing a command on a specified line, and receive a response back from the system. Users type a command or series of commands for each task they want to perform.

This book describes how to use the command line interface to perform various system tasks.

Graphical User Interfaces

A graphical user interface (GUI) uses graphics, along with a keyboard and a mouse, to provide an easy-to-use interface to a program. A GUI provides windows, pull-down menus, buttons, scrollbars, iconic images, wizards, other icons, and the mouse to enable users to interact with the operating system or application.

The Solaris 9 operating environment supports two GUIs, the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) and the GNOME desktop.

Common Desktop Environment

The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) provides windows, workspaces, controls, menus, and the Front Panel to help you organize and manage your work. You can use the CDE GUI to organize your files and directories, read, compose and send email, access files, and manage your system.

For more information, see Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

GNOME Desktop

GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is a GUI and set of computer desktop applications. You can use the GNOME desktop, panel, applications, and tool set to customize your working environment and manage your system tasks. GNOME also provides an application set, including a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a database manager, a presentation tool, a Web browser, and an email program.

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