Command line (CLI) vs graphical user interface (GUI)

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please all you experts and opinionated folks unleash on this debate. Who's better CLI or GUI?

There is no better one. Everyone is made for different purposes.

Command Line Interface[edit]

Nearly every operating system has a command line, and to do any serious work on Unix systems knowledge of the command line is paramount.

For certain tasks it is much faster to use the command line than the GUI, not because a GUI uses more system resources but because a CLI is inherently more scriptable, that is you can automate tasks and a fast typist never needs to leave the keyboard instead of changing between keyboard and mouse as is necessary in a graphical environment.

With CLI commands it's possible to execute a lot of different tasks without using a lot of resources of the machine. A must know for every Linux Server Administrators.

Graphical User Interface[edit]

A GUI can be a more intuitive interface to run a program, they usually look much better and can be used by non technical users. It is possible to use and set a lot of configurations on a program without the need of remembering or searching in the manuals for the options that you need to set.

Although, if you are managing servers, it's not very practical to use GUI because the client must support that option and the server must use some resources to send the GUI over the network.


Attribute CLI GUI
Speed Fast Slow
Looks Geeky Beautifull
Resources Low Lot
Fun Yes In most cases


If you are a common user, without the needs of managing a lot of (Linux) servers and if your primary OS is Windows or MacOS, you can use only GUI. If you are a Linux user, a System Administrator, an IT people or a Computer Geek, you must take some time and learn how to use a CLI. It's very useful, can save a lot of lives and it's fun!