Implementation of a Graphical User Interface for Unix Commands

Presenter: Antonis Spyropoulos
Date: 19 September 2018


The Unix operating system is one of the widest spread operating systems. It has many distributions for a plethora of devices. For many years, the only way to interact with the user was the command line. Shell commands are powerful, but their execution with options and arguments is difficult, because users cannot remember all of them.

The goal of this work is to implement a graphical user interface which will guide the user on creating valid commands or shell scripts. The interface presents to the user the available options, arguments and their meaning. This information is extracted from each command's source code and documentation.

The implementation can be split in two parts. The first one is the extraction of the required data for each command. The second one is the creation of a graphical user interface. The extraction tool is reliable for specific commands. However, there are some commands with special characteristics that cannot be extracted reliably. The graphical user interface works perfectly if it is fed with correct data.