tiistai 4. toukokuuta 2010

The Dreaded Command-line

or How I learned to Stop Worrying and love the Zypper.

There seems to be certain amount of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) floating around about command-line interfaces (CLI), or simply just about the dreaded "command-line". What most people don't realize is that it is included in every major operating system out there today (yes even your shiny Mac OS X and Windows 7 has it). And it is not just "in there" but it is very important tool for any aspiring power user, for you see, command line enables scripting (more or less) and scripting enables you to do anything!

I do agree that scripting has some learning curve to it and most of the time GUI applications are more intuitive than their command-line brothers, but that's not really the point. You can go about clicking your mouse around the GUI until your forefinger bleeds in any modern operating system, Windows, OS X and most Linux distributions (openSUSE being great example), without ever needing to access CLI if you dont like. But proper CLI enables you to accomplish so much more. This holds especially true in any Unix-related OS like OS X and Linux, the Windows CLI, while getting better slowly, can not hold a candle to them. Many times you can accomplish much more complex tasks with CLI than you would with GUI app and when you introduce some simple bash-scripting you can easily automate them and run them generally faster and more easily next time you need them.

And why all the ranting for the command-line interface?
That's simply because next I am going to show how to update your openSUSE 11.1 installation to openSUSE 11.2 by using command-line tool called zypper. While the process may seem intimidating it is actually quite straightforward and requires only little skill to accomplish. You will only require an active connection to internet, you do not need to burn any images to CD`s or anything of the sort. The same can be achieved also via GUI programs, but in my experience the CLI way works better, at least for me.

The screencast is in two parts because of the maximum length of the Youtube videos is 10 minutes. The process itself does take quite a lot of time, you will first need to update the existing openSUSE 11.1 installation with latest patches and then download over 1 gigabyte worth of updated packages for openSUSE 11.2.

Part 1:

Notice, for maximum readability please watch this video in 720p HD mode in fullscreen.


Notice, for maximum readability please watch this video in 720p HD mode in fullscreen.