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2018.12.07 17:29

Understanding Files

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In the Desktop directory, as shown in the above example, there are 23 files and 7 directories, representing different file types. In Windows, you are familiar with files having icons that help represent the file type. In the command line, the same thing is accomplished by the file extensions. For example, "forum posts.txt" is a text file because it has a .txt file extension. Time.mp3 is an MP3 music file and minecraft.exe is an executable file.

Listing of file extensions and additional help with file extensions.

For most users, you'll only be concerned with executable files, which as mentioned above, is a file that ends with .exe and are also files that end with .com and .bat. When the name of these files are typed into the command line, the program runs, which is the same as double-clicking a file in Windows. For example, if we wanted to run minecraft.exe typing "minecraft" at the prompt runs that program.

Note: Keep in mind that if the executable file you are trying to run is not in the current directory you'll get an error. Unless you have set a path for the directory that contains the executable file, which is how the command line finds external commands.

If you want to view the contents of a file, most versions of the command line use the edit command. For example, if we wanted to look at the log file hijackthis.log we would type edit hijackthis.log at the prompt. For 64-bit versions of Windows that do not support this command you can use the start command, for example, type start notepad hijackthis.log to open the file in Notepad. Further information about opening and editing a file from the command line can also be found on the link below.

How to open and view the contents of a file on a computer.

Moving back a directory

You learned earlier the cd command can move into a directory. This command also allows you to go back a directory by typing cd.. at the prompt. When this command is typed you'll be moved out of the Desktop directory and back into the user directory. If you wanted to move back to the root directory typing cd\ takes you to the C:\> prompt. If you know the name of the directory you want to move into, you can also type cd\ and the directory name. For website example, to move into C:\Windows> type cd\windows at the prompt.
Creating a directory

Now with your basic understanding of navigating the command line let's start creating new directories. To create a directory in the current directory use the mkdir command. For example, create a directory called "test" by typing mkdir test at the prompt. If created successfully you should be returned to the prompt with no error message. After the directory has been created, move into that directory with the cd command.

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