Ok. You are speaking about the shell as something mystical (uuh "the shell")..wich in fact is.
A shell is a place where you can write command to be executed. If you are running windows, a shell is like a command prompt. (Start/All Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt). On a shell you can see your files with the command "ls" (short for "list"), you can change directory with the command "cd" (short for "change directory) ..etc..
To use the shell you need to activate it first. Panel->Users->Manage Users->and select Edit. You will see the possibilty to activate the shell. After that you should wait for an email with some more explanation.
That email doesn't explain everything, so I'll tell you what you should do.
First you need a program to access shell easily and in a comfortable way.Windows gives you a way to do that but it's not good enough. Almost everyone likes to use PuTTY.
Download that program and start it. It will open a window; for now just put your hostname where it says "Hostname".
If you press Open, you should see a new window appear with something kind of code on it, asking if you accept the crypted connection. Say yes.
A black window will appear then, asking for your username, write it (you should have it written on the email ) and press enter. Then it will ask for the password. Write it and press enter.
Now you are on a shell.
I usually suggest here to write "csh" and press enter.
then try with:
explanation: ls -l means ls long, where you can see more information about your files.
cd yourhostname.com (where yourhostname.com) will change the directory you are seeing. later when you write cd alone, the shell will go back to the starting directory.
ls -a shows hidden files (files starting with a dot.) This is useful done inside your domain's directory because you will see .htaccess files (if created).
I hope this is clear enough. feel free to ask again. Don't worry about feeling dumb. I usually ask dumber question.
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