What Is The Difference Between GUI And CUI?

Table of content:

  • Character User Interface
  • Advantages of CUI
  • Disadvantages of CUI
  • Graphical User Interface
  • Advantages of GUI
  • Disadvantages of GUI
  • Major Differences Between CUI and GUI

The interface is the medium through which we communicate with each other. It is the user interface we use to connect with our devices. There are two kinds of user interface systems used in connection with computers. This article illustrates the difference between the two user interface systems- GUI and CUI.

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Character User Interface

Character User Interface processes commands written by the user in the form of text or lines and the programs which handle this interface is called command-line processor or command-line interpreter. It works by using the line of commands written in text format and hence it is also called command-line user interface. The character denotes what we are commanding to the computer. It basically takes the line of text which are the commands given by the user in the command-line interface. This type of user interface can be found in Linux Kernel, Windows Powershell, Windows Command Prompt, and also in teletype machines.

The oldest example of the command user interface is the electro teletype machine. These teletype machines used telegraph wire to send or receive data. As an example, if someone types a character on a teletype machine A, the data will flow to the other teletype machine B, connected with a telegraph wire and it was a text-based user interface. In the year between the 1960s to 1970s, these types of telecommunication machines became so popular and these are the perfect initial example of User Interface Systems at that time. These are the first machines where a user inputs some predefined command resulting in some output. These types of command user interface machines remained famous till the early 1980s.

After a few years, engineers replaced the teletype machine papers with television displays after their mass production in the market. A terminal is a black screen that is the base of the Command User Interface. The user gives input or predefined commands on the black screen.

The example of CUI is UNIX and DOS. The Linux kernel is a part of CUI where you have to write some specific commands and you will get an output written in text.

Advantages of CUI

  • The Command User Interface is faster than Graphical User Interface.
  • More stable and reliable than the graphic user interface.
  • it also has a low memory requirement.
  • it runs fewer tasks in the background than the graphical user interface.
  • It is a more useful and natural interface for programmers or ethical hackers.

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Disadvantages of CUI

  • It is not a Flexible User Interface.
  • A person needs to be a computer geek to use these types of user interface.
  • There is a lack of device to work with the command-line interface operating system.
  • It is not customizable according to the user.

Graphical User Interface

The Graphical User Interface has completely changed interaction with computers. It is a more user-friendly interface as anyone can use it without the need of being a computer geek. It becomes more useful especially for sketchpads.

In earlier versions, it had more graphics and other visual clues as compared to command user interface but it was not properly integrated with the applications. Later the real father of GUI, Douglas Engelbart saw that it can be used for more interactive work but he faced problems with lack of device to work with. Then there was the invention of Xerox Star, a product that did not get a commercial hit in the market due to its high price. However, it didn’t go waste because later at Apple, Steve Job and his team developed the Graphical User Interface for the commercial market and prepared its project named Macintosh.

Example of GUI can be seen in your day to day life in your Mobile Devices, Laptops Run Android, Windows, or Mac OS etc.

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Advantages of GUI

  • The Graphical User Interface is more customizable.
  • Easier to use for any developer or any new user.
  • It also has better graphics and image processing capability for graphics-related complicated work.
  • So many compatible apps and programs are available to work with.
  • It is a more useful and natural interface for professional editors or daily users.

Disadvantages of GUI

  • It is slow and requires high memory to run all programs.
  • Sometimes it crashes and lags making it difficult for users.
  • Some programs take longer to be executed in GUI than CUI.
  • System functionality can not be adjusted according to the user.

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Major Differences Between CUI and GUI

  • CUI is a command basis user interface where a user has some predefined commands to work in the command-line user interface whereas GUI uses its graphic interface to allow the user to use it more interactively.
  • Graphics basis user interface is an interface for beginners to start with if someone is new to modern computers because it is a lot easier than CUI which is basically an interface for programmers.
  • Command User Interface is faster because of its low memory requirement but Graphical User Interface is quite slow because it runs on background tasks to process the images and graphic icons.
  • GUI has a more flexible user interface whereas CUI is already predefined and pre-built which is as flexible for a beginner.
  • GUI is less customizable for system functionality than CUI because an advanced user can customize CUI according to the need specially for system functions.
  • GUI is more customizable in terms of UI than CUI.
  • Especially for a new user, using CUI is a difficult task whereas GUI is a simple task for those who are not familiar with computers.
  • CUI has a lack of devices because it needs a keyboard and it does not work with other devices but in terms of GUI it is more compatible for devices, for example, it uses the mouse, keyboard, etc.
  • CUI has more precision than GUI and it works more efficiently because it is more stable and it does not crash suddenly like GUI.
  • Navigation in GUI is a lot easier than CUI because it uses mouse as a pointing device and it uses graphics and icons to help the user understand the sign to navigate through it.

Summing Up

To conclude, GUI is an easier way to use our modern computer as CUI is a lot more complicated for those who are using a computer for the first time. Although a Computer Science student may rely more on CUI because of its speed and less specific commands to work with. This article might have helped you to understand these two terms in detail.

You may also like to read:

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  4. Understanding Cloud Computing Architecture

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