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So I have various command line tools like node, stats, etc which help me with day to day tasks, however I've noticed they don't show up in storage manager under applications and am unsure if there's a way to list all of those tools and completely remove all the files of the ones I don't use any more. It'll show as extra system memory use. It's not a big deal however I don't want to waste space. Is there a tool to manage all of this?

marked as duplicate by nohillside macos Apr 16 at 5:13

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Basically every directory listed in PATH besides the standard ones (/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin) contains user-installed, so running ls on these directories gives you the list for them and you can use the usual Unix tools like du to calculate sizes.

To make managing user-installed tools easier you can rely on a package manager. Homebrew is the package manager of choice for many users.


You should also look at the manual page for hier, as it provides a historical sketch of the filesystem hierarchy, which you might find informational in reference to your question. You can run ls in Terminal on any of directories listed, to get a listing, or look at them through Finder > Go > Go to Folder... and type in the path, e.g.: /usr/bin


As with many Unix style operating system, file locations for software can become confusing at times. I've found that a lot of the packages I'm looking for are listed in "/usr/local/bin". If you would like to remove them all I recommend a Google search for each package and how to remove ALL of it's files in a safe manner. The directory I listed above (/usr/local/bin) is a good starting point. I am unaware of any tools to easily do this for you.

screenshot of terminal

  • 1
    /usr/local/bin is empty on base macoS - you must have installed them separately – user151019 Jul 9 '17 at 19:29
  • @Mark Technicalt applications I use did, node - Virtualbox - atom - etc. – Nathaniel Suchy Jul 9 '17 at 19:47

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