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Command-line interface

(also CLI)

Command-line interface definition

A command-line interface is an interface where users interact with the software by typing text commands into a console or terminal window via their keyboard and receiving text outputs.

CLI is common in various operating systems, including Linux, Unix, and Windows. System administrators often use it for scripting, automation, and remote access tasks. CLI can also provide a more efficient way of performing tasks involving repetitive or complex command sequences.

Use cases of a command-line interface

  • System administration. Administrators use the CLI for many tasks, including installing and removing software, managing files and directories, configuring system settings, and managing users and permissions.
  • Programming and development: Programmers often use the CLI for writing and running code, debugging, version control, or deploying applications.
  • Networking tasks. Network administrators use CLI to configure and manage network devices such as switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • Data processing. CLI provides powerful tools for processing and manipulating large amounts of data efficiently.
  • Automation and scripting. Repetitive tasks can be automated by writing scripts that contain a series of command-line instructions. This saves a lot of time and reduces the chance of errors.