Journey through Command Line Tools

February 28, 2017 | Views: 4615

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Hello Everyone,

I’ve been a part of the Cybrary community for some time, and I thought about sharing my journey through the command line, alternative tools to get away from GUI based programs, and why you should use them.

Recently I’ve been trying to cut off as many programs that have command line based alternatives.  To some of you newbies, this may sound like a pain; however, let me assure you, command line tools are the way to go if you intend on becoming an ethical hacker of any sort.

The first thing I did was completely cut off all IDE’s and switch to VIM and for simple tasks Nano. A common thing I hear about programming is that “Programming is done at the keyboard, not the mouse” which is what these programs encourage.  Nano itself is not hard at all. But VIM; however, is much more powerful when it comes to managing code and compiling things from the command line. I see some tutorials that claim that you don’t need to be a programmer to be a hacker. I personally disagree with this but it goes away from my scope.

The second major tool I switched to was not using a GUI file explorer.  I have been doing this for awhile, and at this point, I cannot stand to use windows explorer or any Linux GUI file explorer.  The command line just feels more natural and this is one of the first steps to learning how to actually talk to your computer.

Some other examples I’ve used just to try out and don’t really use them on a normal basis is switching my web browser to lynx (Yes, that means no photos), and mutt (mail client) which wasn’t too bad. Even if you don’t intend on using them. It’s good to know what they are and how to navigate them, if for nothing else than practice.

As far as other tools go, we fall into a plethora of hacking tools such as using MSF console instead of Armitage (not saying its bad). Not to mention that most tools that you find on any pentesting OS are headless (have no GUI).  So, if you’re new to the industry, learn it now, love it, and live it. It’ll take more time and it may not be easy, but nothing worth achieving is ever that easy.

The end conclusion I’m trying to make is this: The less spoon-fed you are, the smarter and more efficient you become. Hope this contributes somewhat to all of you.

Hopefully, this provides you some insight and helps you understand the importance of actually learning the fundamentals and core concepts to truly understand how and why something functions the way it does.

Here’s a link to a post with some of the tools I mentioned and more: http://lifehacker.com/5622340/who-needs-a-mouse-learn-to-use-the-command-line-for-almost-anything

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4 Comments
  1. I really appreciate this article as I move in the security sector of IT. I feel lost at times on which skills I should learn and when. This gives me a little insight on something I could do in my everyday tasks to move forward. Thank you. I’ll be looking forward to more from you coldking

    • I completely understand where you are coming from. It’s hard to determine what you should learn first when it comes to the IT world. I’m glad you got something out of the article.

  2. I appreciate the effort of this article, I do…really, but can I make a suggestion/observation? While I understand the importance of knowing command line tools, I think a freshly hatched guppy new to the industry would be completely and utterly lost at the point you were trying to make here. I think a dictionary would be sought for some of the terms, like the acronyms, in order to understand the article. Perhaps if you elaborated on some of the acronyms, for example; GUI (Graphical User Interface) with maybe a a sentence or just a few words to describe that. I know that seems like extra work but for some still learning it wouldn’t make too much sense, which would be a shame since I think this article has some insightful advice. And for future reference, an example is always appreciated. Thank you for the article! Here’s a cybyte 😉

    • I appreciate the feedback! I guess I just left a lot of the extra explaining to google. When it comes to acronyms and what not I hope people get curious enough if they don’t understand to look up a term to just look it up for themselves, you learn better that way. Plus I was trying to keep it short and sweet to some extent so I left out a lot of the fluff. Thanks for your response though! I hope you found this somewhat helpful.

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