User Linux Terminal

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Why do I need a Linux Terminal ?

Most of the machines you will interact with are Linux systems that have no graphical interface (or GUI for Graphical User Interface). The reason for this is that a graphical interface is not needed in the context of scientific computing.

Install a Linux Terminal

The installation procedure depends on the operating system you have on your personal laptop.


All Linux distributions provide a terminal.


There is nothing to do ! MacOS comes with a "Terminal" app that you will find in the "Utilities" folder in "Applications".


Natively, Windows doesn't provide any Linux terminal, but you can install one. Several solutions exist, we will only present two solutions :

  • PuTTY : for any Windows version
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL for short : only for Windows 10 64-bit

In fact, if you have Windows 10 and you only need a terminal to open SSH sessions, normally you don't even have to install PuTTY or WSL because you can issue SSH commands from within the PowerShell.

Installing PuTTY

You can download the latest release of PuTTY on this page.

Installing WSL

WSL is a system that allows you to run a Linux distribution in Windows. You'll find the recipe to install WSL on this page. This recipe will also contains links that explain how to launch a distribution instance and how to initialize it.