What is Dojo?

Just like the Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems have command-line interfaces (CLI), Urbit also has one. This terminal is called Dojo, and it is where you can communicate directly with the Urbit software in the most native way possible.

A command-line interface (CLI) is a tool that allows users to interact with a computer through text commands instead of using a graphical interface (GUI) with icons and windows, as we are accustomed to in operating systems like Windows and macOS. The CLI allows you to enter commands to perform specific tasks, such as creating folders, moving files, or running programs.

For example, if you want to open a notepad in Windows, type some text, and save it, you would probably follow this process:

  • Search for the notepad application and click on it
  • Now that the application is open, you would type the text “a generic sentence”
  • Then, click on File menu >> Save As, choose a name (myfile.txt), and save.
notepad GUI on windows
Using GUI on Windows

This is an example of a GUI, as you performed all the procedures using graphical interfaces.

You could also have created this document through CLI, following this process:

  • Search for the Windows Command Prompt (CMD)
  • With the CLI terminal open, type echo a generic sentence > myfile.txt
  • After pressing ENTER, the file will be created. Notice that the final result was the same; only the way you interacted with the computer changed.
cmd prompt windows CLI
Using CLI on Windows

In Windows and macOS systems, most users do not use CLI, only graphical interfaces (GUI) to perform everyday tasks such as using software, manipulating documents, or browsing the web.

Linux users, on the other hand, although they also have the option of GUI, are more familiar with using CLI daily.

The CLI may seem a bit intimidating at first, especially for those unfamiliar with computing. However, it can be a powerful and efficient tool, as it is often faster than performing similar tasks through a graphical interface. Moreover, the CLI is widely used by IT professionals and software developers to manage systems, run scripts, and perform automation tasks.

Some Urbit Dojo features

You can navigate Urbit using a graphical interface, as we taught in articles on how to use Urbit and applications built on Urbit.

But the Dojo terminal is also very useful, especially while Urbit is still new and developing, as many practical features do not yet exist in a graphical form for users.

In addition to being able to send commands to install and manage apps, check the status of your ship, etc., users can write and run Hoon code through the Dojo.

The Dojo allows users to communicate and collaborate with other members of the Urbit network. The terminal is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, even for those without programming experience.

How to access your Dojo

After instantiating a planet or a comet, you automatically gain access to the Dojo via your operating system’s terminal.

But you can also access the Dojo directly from the Urbit dashboard by clicking on the “Terminal” application:

urbit Terminal app
Urbit Terminal app

Tip: If you have sent some command to Dojo and want to copy the output, you may not be able to select the content directly with the mouse. So try holding down the SHIFT key on your keyboard before selecting the text (if Urbit is running on Linux), or use the fn key (macOS), or the Alt key (Windows).