A command is a request to perform an operation or run a program. You use commands to tell the operating system what task you want it to perform. When commands are entered, they are deciphered by a command interpreter (also known as a shell) and that task is processed.
A program or command that is actually running on the computer is referred to as a process. The operating system can run many different processes at the same time.
The operating system allows you to manipulate the input and output (I/O) of data to and from your system by using specific I/O commands and symbols. You can control input by specifying the location from which to gather data. For example, you can specify to read input as data is entered on the keyboard (standard input) or to read input from a file. You can control output by specifying where to display or store data. For example, you can specify to write output data to the screen (standard output) or to write it to a file.
This section discusses the following:
Chapter 11, Shells