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Eee PC – mini tutorial – command line shell – xterm / konsole

I’ve recently bought an Asus Eee PC with Linux (customised version of Xandros) pre-installed.

This is a mini tutorial on accessing and getting the most out of the the command line interface (CLI) on the Eee PC.

Although the Eee PC customised Linux GUI hides the workings of Linux behind the scenes there are times when it’s useful to get up the traditional text based shell – giving you far more control of the working of the computer.

A shell terminal can be launched by pressing CTRL-ALT-T or launching the file manager and choosing Tools -> Open Console Window

If you try both of the above methods you will see that the console looks different. The reason for this is that the default console is set to the basic lxterm console, whereas the file manager is launching the KDE konsole directly.

Most people will prefer the konsole version which provides a history scrollbar, multiple tab support and pull-down menus to allow certain options such as copy and paste.

The default terminal (one run by pressing CTRL-ALT-T) can be changed to use konsole by entering
sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

then choosing option 1 (or any of the alternative terminals if they are preferred).

/home/user> sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

There are 5 alternatives which provide `x-terminal-emulator'.

  Selection    Alternative
          1    /usr/bin/konsole
          2    /usr/bin/xterm
          3    /usr/bin/uxterm
          4    /usr/bin/koi8rxterm
*+        5    /usr/bin/lxterm

Press enter to keep the default[*], or type selection number: 1
Using `/usr/bin/konsole' to provide `x-terminal-emulator'.

Running in the terminal window is the bash shell, which provides an interface to the Linux operating system. Anyone remember DOS or the Windows Command Line?; it’s just like that but much more powerful.

To get started with the bash shell try the following tutorials / guides:

Linux shell reference guide (penguin tutor tutorial)

More Linux Tutorials on or more EeePC Netbook posts.