The terminal is a window that will take the commands from the user and gives them to the operating system. The operating system will execute the commands and return any output to the user if one is warranted.
Why do you need a terminal? Without a terminal it would not be possible for you issue commands from the keyboard. Although commands can still be carried out using the mouse and the desktop it would severely restrict which commands can be used because you are limited by what the programmer is allowing you to use.
So what does the terminal look like?
If the programmer only allows buttons for listing files and deleting files then they could restrict you from creating files even though the operating systems allows this to happen.
When you first boot up the Raspberry Pi and login you are presented with the terminal. If the desktop has already loaded all you need to do is double click on the LXTerminal icon.
The first thing you will noticed is the $ prompt. The $ prompt indicates that this is a user level account. A user level account restricts you from performing certain administrator tasks that prevents you from accidentally removing files that the operating systems need to run.
The other prompt that you will see in the terminal is the # symbol. This symbol indicates that you have root access or administrator rights. This prompt indicates that you can perform many administrative tasks so be aware of your actions. It is preferred to only use a user level account and perform admin tasks using sudo.
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