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Difference between console and Terminal.

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# 1  
Old 03-24-2011
Difference between console and Terminal.

I see these terms used all the time with hardly any distinction between the two.

Any clarification would be appreciated!Smilie I could only get emacs to open in console so I was also wondering what are the common applications to use in console.Smilie

Last edited by theKbStockpiler; 03-24-2011 at 11:51 PM..
# 2  
Old 03-24-2011
# 3  
Old 03-25-2011
I missed Unix Forums (check for other thread) which did have results. Thanks for the links!

Usually I don't have any luck with the (check for other threads) option but it worked well in this case. I'm interested in more of a (functional) understanding of what a console is rather than how to differentiate them visually. I noticed that when I tried to open a file with gedit or kate it would not work but emacs ( the editor with 1,000 hot keys) did open.

Can anyone tell me
what are the most common applications that are used in console mode?

and if (console is considered an application) and so on.Smilie

Thanks for viewing this thread!
# 4  
Old 03-25-2011
Hmm strange that you can't open files with gedit or kate. What is the command that you used ?

There are tons of applications used in the console or terminal if you want is the same thing (console is just a synonym of terminal):
Linux Command Directory: Index
Linux Commands - A practical reference
Basic Linux Commands
bash commands - Linux MAN Pages

And yes the console is an application and "Virtual terminals" are actually software that simulate the operation of a real terminal.
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# 5  
Old 03-25-2011
Originally Posted by theKbStockpiler
I see these terms used all the time with hardly any distinction between the two.
Isn't one, really. Terminal's probably the more "technically correct" term but they both make sense.
I could only get emacs to open in console so I was also wondering what are the common applications to use in console.Smilie
Anything that demands user interaction and isn't a graphical program naturally has to be in a terminal, since a terminal is the way to get interactive information from the user. Editors(nano, vi, emacs) need a terminal if you're not using a graphical version of them, and login systems in particular (su, sudo, ssh, scp, sftp) demand a terminal of one sort or another.

Shells can use terminals, when available, to give you an interactive prompt, but are quite capable of running noninteractively and without a terminal too, when running shell scripts.

I'd also point out a small but important distinction; quite a few utilities couldn't care less whether you run them in a terminal, a GUI, or no environment at all. They just do their job and don't even worry about where they are or why. Unless the command interacts with you somehow, you can be relatively sure it falls into this category... Commands like cp and mv and awk and a blizzard of other common utilities fall into that category.

So it's not really a different "kind" of program, just programs using the resources available to them in different ways.

Last edited by Corona688; 03-25-2011 at 12:00 PM..
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# 6  
Old 03-25-2011
Thanks for the Replies!

Terminal Commands: Control-Alt-F7

After login:
gedit (enter) (gedit: 3684) GTK-Warning**: cannot open display:

kate (enter) cannot connect to X Server

Is there a way to track down the application "Console" in GUI so I can see it under a init process? I'm wondering if just Getty starts a bash shell and everything else is a kernel driver. I thought unless X ran it , the application (bash shell) used direct system calls.

I'm reading a guide located here, Text-Terminal-HOWTO
Not a bad guide (because it is the only one) but has a huge gray area on terminology.

Part of the problem is that users use the same term that they should use display for as a terminal or a console and the physical display is interchanged with and application on the computer. I believe the distinction is really HOW the application is run on a computer be it with a graphics program , without a graphics program, or a program run on a X with out graphics.

It looks to me that if an application can be opened without graphics that it can be opened in a "terminal" running on X. So a terminal would really be a sectioned area on the GUI screen that does not involve graphics.

Thanks for your expertise it has helped in my understanding.
# 7  
Old 03-25-2011
Your $DISPLAY variable is not getting set for some reason.
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