is a synonym of . But console is a subset of terminal, and it's a useful one. For example, the right tag for this OpenBSD question, and for several prior Linux questions — they shouldn't be lost amongst the more generic questions.

I haven't seen “console” used to mean the more general terminal concept much, so I don't think the synonym is warranted due to popular confusion. (There are certainly many more questions confusing “terminal” and “shell”, and these are very different topics.)

So please remove the synonym.

2 Answers 2


It's had 26 renames; is the distinction between the two really important? Are there people that care about questions but not questions?

Edit: Ok, I pulled it

  • Yes, there is a clear distinction, but perhaps not everyone is aware of it. Configuring the console is different from configuring a terminal, so having separate tags would help filter out all unrelated questions, assuming the tag is used correctly.
    – Mikel
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 23:01
  • People who would subscribe: probably not. For searching, it's valuable. Quick, tell me how to find all the questions about the Linux console. Ok, it's not so bad because there's someone who actively removes the linux tag from non-linux-specific questions, but console would scale better. (And 26 renames? I suspect I've done more terminalshell retags than that.) Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 23:04
  • 1
    @Gilles I realize it would let you find questions about the console; I'm asking if that's actually important. Is it a common need to find all questions about Linux consoles but not about terminals in general? We have to weigh that against the odds that without the synonym, people are likely to tag questions incorrectly (and that's not even factoring shell into this, which is probably even worse) -- is it worth the added overhead of manually keeping them straight? Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 23:09
  • If there are people asking, there are (or should be, but we tag because we assume there are) people searching. Also, it's easier to periodically go over the smaller console tag and retag the generalizable questions, than to go over the larger terminal tag and retag the specialized questions. Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 23:14

I agree.

console is the physically attached keyboard and screen, terminal is a remote terminal or a terminal emulator such as xterm.

console is likely to be linux, terminal is likely to be putty or xterm. Configuring them is quite different.

  • idk, I've mostly felt console and terminal are interchangeable terms... which may refer to different things... but like geek and nerd the precise meaning depends on who you ask. Such as I think Virtual Terminal means similar to console but is obviously not an xterm. Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 13:22

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