In this chapter you'll learn about the shell, where you can type com-
mands to your computer. You'll add these topics to your mental toolbox:
• How to open a command shell and type commands
• How files and directories make up the file system
• How to navigate around directories in the file system
Command Your Computer
One of the earliest and greatest computer games that created a world for you
to explore was Colossal Cave Adventure, 1 way back in 1976. It was a purely
text-based adventure—there were no images or graphics. You typed instruc-
tions to the game using simple sentences, commanding it to “go north” or
“take axe” or “kill troll” as needed. And it did as you asked, even killing the
troll with your bare hands.
Today, text commands are still in games—even Minecraft has text commands.
You've probably typed commands in Minecraft's chat window using a “/”
You're going to issue commands to your computer to build plugins and work
with files in very much the same way, using the command line .
The command line is a powerful tool that lets you work on your local computer
as well as on distant computers in the cloud. In fact, we'll cover how to do
exactly that later on in the topic, in Appendix 4, How to Install a Cloud Server ,
on page 229 .
You can even use the command-line processor to write programs; it contains
a full programming language by itself, separate from Java. I've done a little
of that for you, with a script (an executable list of commands) that helps you
build and install plugins. We'll use that as we go along.
If you're already familiar with using the command line, feel free to skip to the
end of this chapter on page 12 .