Difference Between GUI and Command Line

Primary Difference

Several ways exist to interact with the computer and make it do the task which is required. Different new techniques have been developed according to the need of user to make sure the communication between machine and human stays as real as possible. There are two different ways of interacting with a computer to make it follow the commands and these are known as Command-line interface and Graphic user interface. Both perform the same task but have many differences between them on how the tasks are performed and they will be discussed in detail here. The main difference between command line interface and graphic user interface is that different instructions are given to the computer by typing them in the specific window on the computer in the first one while a mouse of keyboard is used to click different options on the computer screen in order to follow the task. The first one is known as CLI while the second one is known as GUI. There are different benefits of using CLI, for example when a specific application is not working even with the help of an external device, they seem to respond when manual instructions are given. GUI, on the other hand is dependent on the devices, even if the application is working properly and the external device is at fault, it cannot be used. For more advanced operations Command-line interface is used while for simpler operations such as clicking, copying and pasting data Graphic User Interface is preferred. People who are new to using computers benefit a lot from using the GUI while they find it difficult to get used to CLI which is more complicated with variable features. Some other differences will be given in the end while few lines about each of these is given next.

Comparison Chart

GUICommand Line
Full NameGraphic User InterfaceFull name for CLL
TypeIt is the simplest form of communication which can be done between the user and computer.It is the traditional way of making computers perform the required task.
FunctionMakes use of devices such as mouse or keyboard to input instructions and for the computer to perform them.Instructions have to be entered manually in the command window in few lines and the device ends up acting according to them.
BenefitsGUI offers maximum control too but the advanced operations cannot be performed through it.There is more control when it comes to using the CLI and file systems

Definition of GUI

It is the simplest form of communication which can be done between the user and computer and makes use of devices such as mouse or keyboard to input instructions and for the computer to perform them. It does require a lot more time to reach the point required but people who do not have much knowhow of the system can even perform these tasks with slight training. There are different shortcuts for applications, folders and destinations which can be clicked to open and perform the task. More system resources are used in this but it is easy to understand and gives the option of multitasking.

Definition of Command Line

It is the traditional way of making computers perform the required task and instructions have to be entered manually in the command window in few lines and the device ends up acting according to them. It takes less time since the code is small and the main task is competed quickly while less system space is required to perform the actions but the main drawback is that only a specific function can be performed at a given time while a normal person cannot use it effectively since specific instructions need to be learnt in order to be able to communicate.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. GUI is known as Graphic User Interface while Command-line interface is the name for CLI.
  2. GUI uses external devices to enter instructions for the computer to predict while CUI uses text based commands which are entered in the command window.
  3. For a new user, GUI is easy to comprehend while CLI is complicated and difficult to get used to.
  4. There is more control when it comes to using the CLI and file systems along with the operating systems can be managed in a better way. GUI offers maximum control too but the advanced operations cannot be performed through it.
  5. While using the GUI many tasks can be performed at the same time but when it comes to CLI one specific task can be performed in the window because of the complexity.
  6. Working with the help of GUI can take longer since many options are to be clicked before reaching the main task while in the CLI people can easily write few lines to perform the action they require.
  7. More system space is required when GUI is being implemented while less of it is required when using CLI.
  8. There are more scripting options when using Command-line interface and GUI cannot compete with it in this regard.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

Computer architecture is something that is a mystery for people who are general users and do not have a detailed knowledge of it. The two terms GUI and Command line are similar ones which are considered same but are different in the working and functions. This article, therefore, gives a proper understanding of the two types for people to get a clearer idea.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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