If you're a Linux newbie -- and there are many -- you may feel a little disoriented when you want to accomplish your first tasks.
Relax. If you've had any experience with other operating systems, learning Linux is a bit like learning to drive in a new country: The ideas are the same, but some of the particulars are a bit different.
We'll go over several of those ``rules of the road'' in this chapter.
But there's one component of your new operating system you just can't do without: the shell. We've made numerous references to the shell -- as in ``shell prompt,'' or ``bash.''
Now, it's time to learn a little more about this indispensable tool. But first, a little history...