Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to do the following:

chmod +x filename.txt

without using the terminal. Is there a way to bypass the terminal and invoke a kernel system call ? I'd rather not write a program to do this. Instead I was wondering if I could somehow simulate a terminal with (perhaps) an application besides terminal to invoke system calls.

I have already tried doing Command Key + i on the file to show the information GUI. However there is no option for setting the execute bit.

Would appreciate help from os x administrator experts in the community.

share|improve this question
Did you try Automator ? – lauhub Dec 6 '13 at 9:27

Keyboard Maestro can do this using the following macro, which runs chmod +x on each item in the current Finder selection:

⌃⇧X: For Each Item in the Collection Execute Actions The items in the (fixed) Finder selection; Execute Shell Script; chmod +x "$KMVAR_File".

Download Macro

share|improve this answer

You could use an SFTP client (like CyberDuck, Transmit etc) to give you a Finder-like view of your files with a GUI interface for permission control to include the x bit.

With Transmit you don't even need to make a SSH connection, you can just browse locally. Not sure if any of the free clients offer this feature.

share|improve this answer

Path Finder a Finder replacement has a Get Info that allows you to change the execution bit,

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.