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In other words how can I run Disk Utility from Terminal when booted in Recovery Mode / off Recovery Partition in recent versions of (Mac) OS X ?

This was once easy; I've remember I figured it out myself in an old version. (Lion?). There's a solution at How to open Disk Utility.app through Terminal? that fails since around 10.8.

Perhaps it's easier to tell Terminal to reopen after a delay and then open Disk Utility?
The executable open can be found on a bootable partition, so

ls -al /Vol*/*/usr/bin/open

should show copies.

Why do this? It's handy to run other things, like iostat, top, cp, find, df, etc.

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    Why don't you use a second Terminal window or a tab? Since Disk Utility.app is more or less a feature-reducing wrapper of diskutil with a horrible interface, you should be happy using the command line tool directly. – klanomath Aug 17 '16 at 20:19
  • Pretty good workaround, @klanomath! Neither has a great UI. – Matthew Elvey Aug 17 '16 at 21:03

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