What is the Shell?

The shell (or bash or terminal) is a program on your computer whose job is to run other programs, rather than do calculations itself. The shell is a very old program and in a time before the mouse it was the only way to interact with a computer. It is still extremely popular among programmers because it is very powerful, fast, and is particularly powerful at automating repetitive tasks.

Here we use the shell for a more modest goal: To navigate the file system, confirm the present working directory, and cement the git to GitHub connection.

Starting the shell

In RStudio, go to Tools > Shell. This should take you to the shell (on Mac: Terminal, on Windows: GitBash or equivalent). It should be a simple blinking cursor, waiting for input and looks similar to this (white text on black background, or black text on white background):

Using the shell

The most basic commands are listed below:

Go back to the index for the all the Git stuff.