Systemd is the init system used to start services and such on Linuxby Anonymous (no login)
Well, it's a bit too complex for me to describe easily (it's made up of many smaller processes that collectively allow the system to function in a more user-friendly manner), but you might consider it similar to WMI on Windows, except it can manage services and many other things too.
However, I'd start elsewhere if you're just getting your feet wet since it's meant to be useful to system administrators and package developers rather than casual users.
If you're still comfortable with DOS, I'd suggest trying some commands similar to what you might be used to executing on the command line using a terminal emulator. Naturally you can write and execute shell scripts (batch files), though obviously it's not without limitations, even with external programs, which is why a lot of things are written in the Perl or Python programming languages (even entire applications).
You might also have a look at your package manager to see what's available (I recommend the bsdgames package only because it's fun to Hunt the Wumpus.)
Above all, however, there's one thing that is commonly discouraged for security reasons: running your system as the root user. This is akin to having pretty much full system access, so hopefully you don't try doing something silly like rm -rf / as root, rendering the system unusable. In fact, many graphical session managers such as gdm will forbid logging in as root from the login screen by default. Using the sudo program, you can execute a command with (temporary) privileged access, such as installing a software package from the command line rather than a GUI.
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