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Googling for terminal tweaks shows sites this one which show how to tweak OS X via the Terminal. Are there any Apple or exhaustive lists of these settings anywhere on the net?

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What problem are you trying to solve? I'm tempted to just close this since it's the equivalent of "what books can be written with a text editor" or "what programs can be thought up with Xcode". Terminal is so powerful and self-modifies the system, so the true answer is infinite. – bmike Mar 18 '12 at 16:42
Question seems straight forward enough - nathang pointed to one such list. 'Exhaustive'? Well, probably only Apple could answer that but 'comprehensive' is pretty darn useful. – JRobert Mar 19 '12 at 0:30
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There is a pretty good database full of defaults write commands at

They also have a PrefPane that allows you to use System Preferences to set these hidden preferences.

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+1 That's a really good resource I like to just skim through! – gentmatt Mar 18 '12 at 15:50

Mac Kung Fu Book

It's not a free resource ($23), but I believe it should be mentioned here.

About the book:

  • Many of the tips in this book exploit settings or experimental features never officially made public.
  • "exploit secret settings and hidden apps"
  • "tweak your system"
  • "learn valuable security tricks"

enter image description here

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As it turns out, there appears to be a way to scout for these settings yourself. Neat.[1]

[1] Props to this user for linking the above article in this answer.

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