These are just personal notes, please ignore this page.
A command-line interface is a text-based paradigm allowing user interaction with a system. In UNIX it has a rich history which has led to many * and some quirks. Today text is generally enterd with a keyboard and output presented on a screen.
In Linux, one primary way of getting a command line interface is on a virtual console running a user shell.
emulates a video terminal within another display architecture (usually X). It generally starts up with the default shell that is defined as login shell for given user. On Gentoo the default shell is bash.
If an X environment has not been set up in Gentoo, the system will boot to the first tty interface. Under most circumstances it is possible to access different terminal interfaces by pressing the Alt+F1 through Alt+F6 keys on the keyboard. The super key ("windows key") will also toggle between terminals.
If an X environment has been set up, there are more than a few terminal emulator options available for the user to choose from - see next section. From an X11 session, the Linux virtual terminals can be accessed with Ctrl+Alt+F1 through Ctrl+Alt+F6 key combinations. If the X11 session was started from a session manager, it is often started on tty7. Return to it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7, otherwise return to the graphical session by going back to the virtual terminal on which it was started.