command interpreter definition operating system
A program which reads textual commands from the user or from a file and executes them. Some commands may be executed directly within the interpreter itself (e.g. setting variables or control constructs), others may cause it to load and execute other files. Unix
's command interpreters are known as shells
When an IBM PC
loads and runs the MS-DOS
command interpreter into memory from file COMMAND.COM found on a floppy disk
or hard disk
drive. The commands that COMMAND.COM recognizes (e.g. COPY, DIR, PRN) are called internal commands, in contrast to external commands which are executable files.