The Console is commonly the well known black window in which the user can write in the command line. It is actually a very powerful tool which can complement the graphic utilities on the system.
The Console is often also known as the "Terminal" or "Shell". Technically, the Console is a combination of a "Terminal" and a "Shell". Usually the two terms are used as synonyms.
How to access the Console
In Debian, there are already six default virtual Consoles ready to be used. They all can be accessed using the key combination Ctrl + Alt + FN#Console. For example, the Console #3 is accessed by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F3.
Note The Console #7 is usually allocated to the graphical environment (Xorg, etc.).
Another method is to use a graphic display terminal within your desktop environment.
Under GNOME: Applications> System Tools> Terminal
or the keyboard shortcut Alt + F2 for "Run Application" and type "gnome-terminal"
Under KDE K> System> Terminal (Konsole)
How to survive on the Linux Console
This section lists a selection of useful and popular programs that run from the shell.
screen -- virtual tty that allows disconnection (for ssh or X-terminal)
script -- for logging of a console session
mlocate -- assists in finding files
- File manager
- Locking the console
Communication / Internet
mutt -- all mail clients suck - this one sucks less
- Graphic conversion and manipulation
- Graphic viewers
mplayer (mplayer -vo caca MyFile.mpg or mplayer -vo aa MyFile.mpg)
- Todo list
- Calendar tools
- Address books
- Word processing
odt2txt (view openoffice document, see mc above)
top in the procps package -- list what's running and resource usage
ngrep -- Show network connections
apachetop -- Show active Apache details.
aptitude -- manage Debian packages.
ssh -- Remote system interaction (replaces deprecated "r" commands, telnet, ftp).
CleanMe : This page needs some cleanup, and needs to be improved (hint: focus on most useful tools). For example, how can a console session be recorded in a file?