Using programs and commands that do not have a graphical user interface (GUI) but are rather controlled by typing text commands into a terminal program, or shell.

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12
votes
4answers
3k views

Updating modifier key mappings through defaults command tool

I am trying to automate the inital setup of my macbook, that includes installing software and changing OS X configuration to my needs. I have tried to update the modifier keys with defaults, the ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Change default shell from bash to zsh

I've tried to switch my default shell to zsh, using chsh: chsh -s /bin/zsh and: chsh -s `which zsh` Both commands ended with: Changing shell for adamatan. Password for adamatan: chsh: ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Shell Script for Yesterday's Date

I'm trying to execute the following shellscript with hazel app on any file in the folder. It works, but the only thing thats causing a problem is the date for yesterday. #! /bin/bash saveDir="TJ" ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I force command-line arguments to a program shortcut in the dock?

I have Chrome installed in Applications, and a shortcut to it in the Dock. How can I achieve to force some command-line arguments to each start-up of this app? Let me be clearer, in the Terminal, I ...
11
votes
1answer
14k views

Bash or Zsh, what's the difference, why use one or the other?

So, the question pretty much says it all. I'm on Snow Leopard, and I do a lot of web development, particularly in Rails 3 which makes heavy use of the console. I've seen some notable bloggers etc. ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is extracting this tgz throwing an error on my Mac but not on Linux?

I'm experiencing a rather odd problem, and I can't figure out what's going on. I have a tgz file, scip-3.2.0.tgz, that is throwing an error when I attempt to unpack it. The error is only occurring on ...
10
votes
3answers
947 views

Where is a reasonable sed?

On Yosemite. The sed is old: does not understand \t for example. I installed coreutils and can not find any sed associated with same. What are my options here?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Are the OSX Mavericks tags visible from the command line?

For example, suppose I have a directory structure such as /Users /tlehman /Math algebraic_varieties.tex [tagged: Math, Documentation] projective_geometry.pdf ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to deal with commands of conflicting names listed in `brew doctor`?

So after brew doctorI`ll get the following without any recommendation: Warning: You have external commands with conflicting names. Found command `brew-cask` in following places: ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

Is there a more-accurate indicator of an app download's progress than what appears in Launchpad?

While downloading an application from the Mac App Store, you are presented with a progress indicator in Launchpad, like so: For a large install (like Xcode, as shown) this doesn't provide a ...
10
votes
3answers
14k views

Reset your PATH variable

I stuffed up (basically wiped) my PATH variable. Is there any way to reset it to the default? I look at How do I reset the $PATH variable on Mac OS X?, but I find it very confusing. As far as I ...
10
votes
1answer
649 views

OS X terminal “open” command and keeping focus on the command line

I appreciate the "open" terminal command to launch OS X apps. When invoking the open command for any purpose, it is overwhelmingly likely that I will have at least one other command I would like to ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I change the time format used by ls command line on osx?

I want to make ls display time in ISO format (military format). How can I change this behavior? On Linux I knew that I could force ls to display time in long format by usin --full-time but this ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

copy last command in terminal

I can see last command in terminal by pressing up arrow as in following example: I typed cd /: Makss-Mac:~ maks$ cd / ... pressed enter, command cd / executed and now I can press up arrow and see ...
10
votes
3answers
12k views

brew cask: howto uninstall an Application

I tried, while I am in /opt/homebrew-cask/Caskroom $ for i in *; do brew cask uninstall $i; done Error: appcleaner is not installed Error: avidemux is not installed Error: eclipse-ide is not ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

How to prevent Mac sleep from command line?

I have a long running script at the remote computer. I don't want terminate my ssh session, and need enter it into a shell script. How is it possible to prevent my Mac from falling into sleep from ...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

How to add user to a group on command line?

With Linux/Unix, I can use useradd -G developers vivek to add vivek to the developer group. How can I do the same thing with Mac OS X? Then, how do I check if vivek is in developers group?
9
votes
6answers
5k views

How to list all available .plist keys on a certain domain application by defaults command?

I want to know all keys (property list) which available on certain domain application, as example i could list available key for com.apple.dock by entering this command: $ defaults read ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

Improved Terminal autocomplete funcionality (similar to Matlab's)

If any of you ever used Matlab, you might have noticed the command window functionality in that program. I wonder if it is possible to enable the same functionality in Mac Terminal. It works like ...
9
votes
1answer
8k views

How to remove xattr com.apple.quarantine from all .webarchive files with that extended attribute?

Spread across multiple file system I have numerous .webarchive files that were saved by OmniWeb. So for example: sh-3.2$ ls -@ 2012-03-19.webarchive 2012-03-19.webarchive sh-3.2$ ls -@l ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the difference between .bash_profile and .bashrc?

To make an alias for the Terminal in OS X, you can either put the aliases in .bash_profile or .bashrc. What is the difference between the two and why would I choose to put aliases in one and not the ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I add reminders via the command line?

Once in a while it may be useful to add some reminders to Reminders.app from the command line — especially because they are synced to iCloud. Is there any way to do so? A solution that does not rely ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

how to reinstall xcode command-line tools?

I had serious problems from two versions of Xcode on the same machine. I removed all Xcode app instances & many other non-System 'xcode'-related files, then reinstalled the app (4.6.2), fixing my ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Ubuntu-like bash completion in Mac OS X?

I work in the terminal a fair bit, and one thing I really miss from the servers I usually work on is the comprehensive autocompletion bash provides on Ubuntu servers. Are there any readymade tools ...
9
votes
1answer
507 views

Is it possible to set the output language of shell commands to anything other than English?

Am I correct in my assumption that shell commands such as cp, man, ls, etc. always print their messages in English regardless of system and user settings, and also standard shell messages like ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to programatically add folder to Spotlight “do not index”?

Is there any way to programmatically add a folder to Spotlight's "Privacy" tab? Either through Terminal or Applescript? Often I want to click on an item in Spotlight results in Finder, and have that ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Copying files to the clipboard using applescript

Often I find myself at the command line wanting to copy files to the clipboard, so that I can paste them as attachments in Mail. If I have an image file, image1.png, I can accomplish this with ...
8
votes
2answers
474 views

How to download Firefox via command line FTP

I am attempting to install Firefox on my Mac, which currently does not have a browser. From a bash terminal I have ftp installed and am currently connected to the internet. However, I have been ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

How to prevent the application launched in Terminal from undesirably exiting?

I launch applications from the Terminal with commands like this one : /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/MacOS/Mail & The important part is the &. For Unix / Linux / Solaris : I have ...
8
votes
6answers
826 views

Where can I find a comprehensive and detailed technical software manual for OS X?

Are there books written for OS X (particularly the most current version) like the hundreds of thousands written for Unix? I'd like to know about the command-line utilities and the locations of system ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How does Mountain Lion set the default text editor for the “open -t” terminal command?

OSX seem to offer open -t command line shortcut to open arbitrary files in the system default text editor. Where is this default text editor set? Can I change it from the command line (if possible) ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I have my shell always start in a certain directory that is not my home directory

I've tried putting cd /Users/my_name/my_directory/structure in both .bashrc and .bash_login but neither works, i.e. when I open a new terminal window I am in my home (/Users/my_name/) directory. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can user accounts be managed via the command line?

Is there any way to add, remove, or modify user accounts via the command line? I'm not talking about an account for a system process or daemon, I mean is there any way to add a user account, change, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How to create an OSX Application to wrap a call to a shell script?

My goal is to include in a zip file what amounts to a shortcut, instead of telling my customer(s) to open up Terminal and run a shell script. My deployable essentially looks like this: $ unzip ...
8
votes
2answers
919 views

Piping multiple commands

I would like to run the following command and pipe stout of both to TextEdit: pmset -g; echo; pmset -g assertions | open -f -a TextEdit This doesn't work, it only executes the latter: How?
8
votes
3answers
272 views

How can I automatically keep track of in-office hours when I connect to my office Wi-Fi?

I'm looking for a solution that starts a timer whenever I sign in to my office wifi and stops it when I've left. It should essentially log the hours I've spent at the office. I'm aware that there's ...
8
votes
3answers
695 views

Drag & Drop vs mv - Any difference?

Is there a difference between bulk-moving files with Drag & Drop vs mv? Use case: Volume External_Drive_A has about 8000 files totalling 9GB. External_Drive_B has 74GB of free space. The desired ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Completely clear all output from a Terminal window

I would like to clear all output from a Terminal window (including all historical output) to get it back to a clean state as if you had just opened a new Terminal window, or a new Terminal tab. I can ...
8
votes
2answers
405 views

Check if caps lock on in terminal

Is there a way to query the system to tell if the caps lock is on or is off from the command line in terminal.app?
8
votes
1answer
922 views

How can I take selfie by running a console command on Mac? [duplicate]

I know I can take a selfie with the built-in camera via the Photo Booth app. However, is there a way capture an image via command line, in sort of lolcommits style?
8
votes
2answers
9k views

What does -HUP do when used with killall?

Sometimes when I'm running a killall command from Terminal, a co-worker would suggest or edit my scripts to show killall -HUP. What does the -HUP part do?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to get the full suite of unix options for the command line tools on OS X?

I follow Unix Tool Tip on Twitter and it is interesting that many of the tips that are posted are not available on OS X. For example: cp - u will only copy files that don't exist, or are newer ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

How to install CPAN modules from the command line on OS X?

Simple question: How to install CPAN modules on OS-X like normal Linux/Unix way? I just want to type in cpan something like install Perl6::Say for example.
8
votes
1answer
24k views

Create new partition in unallocated space with diskutil

I have deleted the first partition on my external HD such that it now has 100GB of free space at the beginning of the partition. I'd like to reclaim that space, but Disk Utility doesn't let me create ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Adding a song file to iTunes via the command line without playing the file

I want to add song files to iTunes via the command line. open -a iTunes -g song.mp3 does exactly this. - However it starts playing the song, too. Any way to avoid this?
8
votes
2answers
11k views

Understanding the 'staff' user group

It's known that all users are members of the 'staff' group. If you setup a standard user and create any file, a list of that file in the terminal with 'ls -la' shows the user group to be 'staff'. ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

How to change tap to click using “defaults write” from command line?

I want to change the trackpad tap-to-click property from the command line. Graphically, I can do it by clicking System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Tap to Click. How can I do it from the command line? ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to isolate processes that evoke insane mds_stores disk read activity?

I have an interesting situation where when I monitor my disk activity, I find that mds_store is continually running between 1 to 35 megabytes per second (averaging around 3-5 MB/s) on the read and ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the preferred method of command line domain name lookup (DNS)?

What command line command do I use to lookup a domain address? When looking at the man pages for nslookup and dig I can see a section saying that these utilities do not use the Mac OS methods of ...
7
votes
1answer
12k views

What command combo at terminal will output a list of directories with human-readable sizes?

I'd like to open Terminal.app and enter a command like: my-macbook-pro:~ my-username$ ls -lh Instead of seeing the size of the folders in bytes that are in my current working directory, I'd like to ...