I don't think those should by synonyms.

"Command line" is often contrasted with a GUI; it means that you're typing commands in a terminal-like Window. It's a platform-agnostic term, used in Unix-based and Windows-based systems (and probably others).

"Command prompt" is the name of Windows's command-line interface ("terminal"). I've never heard it used for a non-Windows-based system.

I propose that they be somehow unlinked.


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    command prompt is synonymous with any command line interface tool – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 2 '11 at 7:26
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    @Sathya: When was the last time you heard someone say to "Open the command prompt" on Linux? – user541686 Jul 2 '11 at 7:33
  • I just mentioned it right now to a friend who's new to Linux. There are plenty of people who don't "get" what a terminal means. A layman is more likely to understand what a "command prompt" means as compared to a "terminal". – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 2 '11 at 7:36
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    @Sathya: Exactly. You mentioned it to draw an analogy to Windows, for someone who had not heard of a terminal. But have you ever told someone who's experienced in Linux to "open the command prompt"? (Wouldn't they laugh at you if you did?) – user541686 Jul 2 '11 at 7:40
  • So, you want the tags to reflect the 1% of populace that might "get it"? I'm going to have to disagree with you. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 2 '11 at 7:42
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    @Sathya: Hm... do you really think only 1% of SU users 'get' what a terminal is? If you look at it that way, you'd need to make Ubuntu synonymous with Windows, because only 1% of users 'get' what Ubuntu is... – user541686 Jul 2 '11 at 7:43
  • you forget that SU audience also includes the vast majority of people who arrive here upon searching the web. – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 2 '11 at 7:59
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    @Sathya: Yeah I actually did. So why not make Ubuntu a synonym for Windows?... :\ – user541686 Jul 2 '11 at 8:07
  • @Sathya On Unix & Linux, many askers (typically new-ish to Linux) misuse terminal to mean command line (we reserve terminal for questions about the terminal itself, not about the shell or tools invoked from the command line). I don't remember anyone creating a command-prompt tag or misusing the prompt tag. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 3 '11 at 18:32
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    Man... Here I thought someone was gonna be cooking up a deliciously-pedantic argument around -line (the bit you type) vs. prompt (the bit the terminal types to let you know you can type) vs. the terminal itself... Instead, it's a boring ol' Windows vs. Everything Else bash. – Shog9 Jul 4 '11 at 5:50
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    @Shog9: Everything Else BASH? You're punny. :P Also: I'm pretty sure that's what I was saying in my post: "Command line" is often contrasted with a GUI... aka they have completely different meanings. I guess the comments didn't go in that direction since it was more about the prompt (sorry) but that's kind of what I was saying in my post. – user541686 Jul 4 '11 at 5:54

is sufficient; if people refer to they mean and not itself.

For the same reason, on Linux is sufficient; all the rest is fine under .

Having multiple OSes under is NOT a problem given the OS and SHELL tags. Scrolling through the first page, it is clear for the largest share of questions what OS they are about. If it's unclear, then it's a problem with the question and not with the tag system. People sometimes forget the OS...

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