What is the difference between a CUI and a GUI?

Two different types of user interface systems that are used in computers are CUI and GUI. CUI means Character User Interface and GUI means Graphical User Interface. They are both the same in that they are important for operating the systems, but they are different in that they have different features and they provide different types of control to the users.

About CUI

In order to interact with the computer when you use CUI you need to have a keyboard that you use to type commands to the computer. It can only accept these commands in the form of text in MS DOS of command prompt. It does not understand images or graphics. This was the earliest user interface and is very primitive now.

In the early days of their use computers could only be operated through this type of interface which consisted of a black screen with white text. There was no mouse because the computers did not support such a device. This type of user interface is outdated but there is a modified version of CUI on the modern computers.

About GUI

GUI is the user interface found on the computers that are used today.  It uses graphics, images and icons and uses a mouse to make it easier to give the commands to the computer. Instead of having to type in all the commands, the user only has to point and click.


  1. CUI and GUI are user interface systems used in computers
  2. The earliest user interface was CUI in which all the commands to the computer had to be typed on the keyboard. With GUI, there are graphics, images and icons as well as a mouse to make giving commands to the computer so much easier.
  3. CUI can only use text.
  4. Modern computers use GUI.

DOS is an example of CUI and Windows is an example of GUI.