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Using the Terminal on Windows (Overview)

The terminal can be intimidating to work with when you’re used to working with graphical user interfaces. However, it’s an important tool that you need to get used to in your journey as a Python developer. Even though you can substitute some workflows in the terminal with apps that contain a graphical user interface (GUI), you may need to open the terminal at some point in your life as a Python developer.

In this Code Conversation, you’ll follow a chat between Philipp and Ian as they perform common tasks in the terminal on Windows, such as:

  • Showing the current working directory
  • Listing the contents of a folder
  • Adding text to files without opening them
  • Displaying the content of a file

Along the way, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find the terminal on your operating system
  • Open the terminal for the first time
  • Navigate your file system with basic commands
  • Create files and folders with the terminal
  • Run Python files on Windows

If you’ve never worked with the terminal on Windows before or you want to see some interesting use cases to incorporate the terminal into your workflow, then this video course is the perfect start for you.


Course Slides (.pdf)

5.4 MB

00:00 Welcome to Using the Terminal on Windows. I’m Philipp with Real Python, and in this video course, I’ll give you an introduction to the terminal.

00:10 The terminal can be intimidating to work with, especially when you’re used to working with graphical user interfaces. Even though you can do many of your day-to-day tests on the computer with apps that contain a graphical user interface, you may need to open the terminal at some point when you’re learning Python.

00:28 And yeah, the terminal really is an important tool for you as a Python developer. But granted, at the beginning, it’s hard to figure out how to navigate this dark space.

00:38 To show you how to get started using the terminal, I invited Ian as a guest today. Ian will get a bunch of tasks from me that he has to perform in the terminal.

00:47 He really has to perform all the tasks in the terminal, so there will be no mouse. You’ll see no windows except the terminal window, But there will be files, there will be folders, and of course, there will be some Python in it as well.

01:03 And here is what we’ll tackle in this course. You’ll learn how to open the terminal, how to create files and folders, how to navigate the file system, and then you’ll learn how to show contents of files and how to edit, copy, and move them. And of course, you’ll learn how to run Python files in the terminal.

01:23 Depending on the Windows version you are currently on right now, chances are that the terminal is not installed on your system yet. That’s why I recorded an extra session with Ian, where he shows you how to install the terminal on Windows.

01:38 If this is your first encounter with the terminal and you’re feeling a bit nervous right now, I promise you that Ian will do a wonderful job of explaining things to you.

01:47 And even if you’re already a seasoned terminal user, I promise that you’ll learn a thing or two. But before we begin the conversation, let’s get a bit of theory out of the way in the next lesson.

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