This is what computing is all about

One key–but unstated–objective of commercial operating systems (that is, Windows and Mac) is to make using a computer like using a car. The idea is to hide all the messy technology bits.

The problem with that approach is that the OS designers assume they know exactly what all users want to do. So, you get the traditional three-panel graphical file browser model, for example. But if you want some feature or function that the OS designers didn’t foresee you would want, you’re often out of luck with Windows/Mac OS.

Not the case with Linux. Check out Display Structure of Directory Hierarchy for a one-line Linux command that will display your system’s directory hierarchy. Sure, it’s a complicated little command:

ls -R | grep ":$" | sed -e ‘s/:$//’ -e ‘s/[^-][^\/]*\//–/g’ -e ‘s/^/   /’ -e ‘s/-/|/’

but with Linux, that can be turned into a shell script, which acts like any other command line command.

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