The Command Line Interface, or CLI, is an essential tool for software developers, system administrators, and computer enthusiasts alike. CLI provides a means for humans to interact with operating systems or software by typing textual commands. One can use the command-line to manipulate files, interact with APIs, manage systems, and execute a wide variety of other tasks that are critical in information technology fields.

The changes in computer interfaces over time necessitated the introduction of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) to improve user-friendliness, particularly for non-professional users. However, experienced developers recognized the undeniable power of CLI over GUI due to its simplicity, effectiveness, and its ability to automate repeated tasks using scripts.

Working with CLI

In general, working with a CLI requires typing a command followed by parameters or options. For example, in a Linux or Unix system, one might type the command ‘ls -l’ to list all the files in the current directory in long format which include file permissions, number of links, owner, group, size, and time of last modification.

It is important to note that command lines are case sensitive and a slight error in typing a command could result in a completely different output, or no output at all. The command’s syntax often includes a command followed by one or more spaces, an optional argument, and then perhaps a value for that argument.

CLI and The WA Performance School

The WA Performance School even makes use of CLI in the context of performance arts. Sound, lighting, and visual effects rely heavily on systems controlled via command-line. The custom scripts ensure smooth transition of scenes, lighting effects, and audio, providing the audience with a seamless performance by adjusting or programming the devices in real time.

The WA Performance School recognizes that the core principles of CLI – precision, flexibility and automation – are equally applicable behind the stage. Mastering the CLI, as a technical operator, enables one to adapt to varying demands of different performance or event types, customize the ambiance to cater to the artistic vision of the production and automate routine tasks.

Command Line Interface Advantages

Working on CLI comes with several advantages over graphical interfaces. CLI allows users to perform complex tasks quickly and automate repeated jobs using shell scripts or batch files. A CLI also demands less system resources as compared to GUI, which can be a crucial advantage in systems with minimal resources or in remote access scenarios.

The automation capabilities of a CLI can greatly impact productivity, as well. Through shell scripting, a sequence of command lines can be written in a plain text file to be executed which can save a lot of time if these commands need to be repeated frequently.


While command-line interfaces can seem intimidating at first, especially for those accustomed to graphical interfaces, their efficiency and effectiveness make it worth learning. Their ability to automate processes and carry out complex tasks quickly make them a wonderful tool both in the context of pure computing and broader applications, like The WA Performance School. As the world continues to embrace technology, the relevance and importance of CLI are bound to increase.