What are the advantages and drawbacks of CLI and GUI?

While graphical consumer interfaces, or GUIs, have been round for decades, they’ve solely just lately develop into a well-liked strategy to handle enterprise networking hardware. Traditionally, community directors have used the command-line interface, or CLI, for community management.

Each CLI and GUIs have their advantages, and network execs can assess which one to make use of based mostly on their use instances.

Benefits of CLI

Up to now, community vendors typically seen a community GUI as an afterthought. Thus, early GUIs have been halfhearted attempts that provided only a small subset of the general configuration choices for networked routers, switches and firewalls. Consequently, most vendors and customers opted for the CLI as the first configuration and administration technique.

Quicker configuration

One main advantage of CLI is that, with follow, configuration may be far quicker compared to a GUI. With a number of textual instructions, a consumer can configure interfaces, routing protocols and entry lists. These things would require multiple mouse clicks and attempting to find proper pages and tabs in a GUI.

Particular person system management

Command line might be scripted and easily pushed out with simple copy-and-paste features utilizing a scripting software and a safe shell shopper. Thus, managing network units that require particular person, hop-by-hop administration is way easier with CLI.

Troubleshooting info

From a help and troubleshooting perspective, network execs can use CLI to seek out info shortly using numerous command shortcuts. This consists of drilling into interface statistics, creating scripts for commonly seen info and utilizing key phrase or sample searches. These strategies present the true energy of CLI over newer graphical strategies.

Table comparing the advantages of CLI and GUI
Evaluate some great benefits of CLI and GUI.

Advantages of GUIs

Regardless of the benefits of CLI, net-based mostly GUIs — combined with centralized, cloud-managed architectures — are overtaking CLI because the go-to interface. In reality, GUIs are starting to excel so much that CLI administration can really feel antiquated.

Net-based mostly, centralized configuration

With trendy community platforms, the GUI not takes a again seat to CLI in lots of instances. Vendors have put extra time and effort into ease of use, the power to centrally push out configuration updates to multiple units and creating an administration UX that gives a stability between simplicity and depth of configuration capabilities.


GUI tends to be extra consumer-pleasant. With command strains, community admins have an extended learning curve before turning into proficient in the correct configuration and troubleshooting steps required. With a nicely-designed GUI, nevertheless, that same learning curve is dramatically lowered.

Visual format

Additionally, the power to see numerous community interface and system health checks in a visual format within a GUI may also help to determine issues extra shortly and easily, as opposed to wanting at the similar info in text format.

Editor’s notice: This article was up to date to improve the reader experience.

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