Why Use the Command Line?

We are all used to the point-and-click graphical user interfaces of modern computers. So why use the command line?

There are a few reasons (and see the excellent discussion that is part of the Software Carpentry Unix shell notes):

  • Scientific computing often involves automating workflows and repetitive tasks.

  • Supercomputing facilities are access via remote connections

  • Much of the analysis software we use is written as a command line tool that is meant to be incorporated into a script, or chained together with other tools.

  • It helps us understand how the computer thinks about our files and data.