Command Line

The command line interface is an alternate method of interacting with OS X, relying on text based command entry to execute commands and perform tasks. It is accessed on the Mac by using the Terminal application. Generally, the command line is considered advanced, and thus it’s usage tends to be more complex than many standard procedures on a Mac.

Search Command Line

How to Erase a Disk from Command Line in Mac OS X

Aug 30, 2016 - 2 Comments
Erase disk from command line of Mac OS

Some Mac users may require the ability to erase a disk or erase a hard drive from the command line on Mac OS, a task which is typically performed through the Disk Utility application from the GUI. The command line approach to disk erasure in macOS is a bit different and it requires precise syntax … Read More

How to Search Man Pages at the Command Line

Aug 27, 2016 - 10 Comments
Search man page for string match

Command line users are undoubtedly familiar with man pages, or manual pages, that contain details, help, and documentation to specified commands and functions. Referencing a man page can be essential when trying to learn proper syntax or how a command works, but with how large some manual pages are it can be a real drag … Read More

How to Enable SSH on a Mac from the Command Line

Aug 16, 2016 - 1 Comment
Terminal in OS X

All modern Macs running macOS or Mac OS X come with SSH pre-installed by default, but the SSH (Secure Shell) daemon is also disabled by default. Advanced Mac users may appreciate knowing the ability to enable SSH and disable SSH are both available entirely from the command line of Mac OS, allowing for a simple … Read More

How to Find a Disk ID & Device Node Identifier in Mac OS X Command Line

Aug 9, 2016 - 6 Comments
diskutil list and find disk ID identifier information on Mac

If you need to find the disk ID or disk node identifier (like /dev/disk0s2) of a volume attached to a Mac for one reason or another, perhaps the easiest way to obtain this information from the command line is with the diskutil utility.

Adjust Whether a Mac Restarts Automatically on System Freeze

Jul 29, 2016 - 18 Comments
Terminal in OS X

Modern Macs with new versions of Mac OS (or Mac OS X) default to automatically reboot themselves upon a system freeze. This is a troubleshooting feature that aims to prevent average users from having to initiate a forced restart, since the Mac would simply restart itself if a system freeze were to occur. While most … Read More

Move Cursor Word by Word in Terminal for Mac OS X

Jul 14, 2016 - 7 Comments
retro-terminal-mac-screenshots-3

If you spend a lot of time at the command line, you undoubtedly find yourself adjusting and editing text and commands, and you likely often need to move the cursor to a further position in the Terminal from where it’s actively located. Sure you can use the arrow keys to move left and right on … Read More

List User Accounts on Mac from Command Line

Jul 5, 2016 - 3 Comments
Terminal in OS X

Mac administrators may find themselves in a situation where they need to display a list of all user accounts on a particular Mac by way of the command line. We’ll review a few methods for advanced individuals to list all accounts, both user and system, on any Mac with any version of Mac OS X … Read More

How to Change Mac System Language via Command Line

Jun 29, 2016 - Leave a Comment
Change Mac system language from command line

Polyglots, learners, and the bilingual often want to change their Mac system language for obvious reasons, but another less obvious situation can occur if you’re troubleshooting a Mac that either originates in another country, had the language changed at some point, or is just set to a different language. Since it can be pretty challenging … Read More

How to Reload bash_profile, zsh profiles from Command Line

Jun 7, 2016 - 4 Comments
Terminal in OS X

For anyone making customizations to their command line appearance, prompt, adding aliases, a new PATH, setting environment variables, or otherwise changing their bash_profile, bashrc, zshrc, and related shell profiles, it’s helpful to know how to quickly reload the profile. Many users simply launch a new shell or open a new terminal window, but there is … Read More

How to Remove a Symbolic Link (Symlink)

May 25, 2016 - 5 Comments
Remove a symbolic link with unlink or rm command

Removing a symbolic link is achieved through the command line, and as we’ll show you, there actually two different ways to undo a soft link. This is aimed at users who spend a lot of time at the command line, but for the less familiar, symbolic links are used in Linux, Mac OS X, and … Read More

How to Change Sudo Password Timeout in Mac OS X

May 5, 2016 - 1 Comment
Change the sudo timeout

Advanced users who spend a fair amount of time in the command line may wish to adjust their sudo password expiration to be more secure (or less secure, by extending the password grace period timeout). Typically this means removing any password timeout so that the default five minute password cache is abandoned, thus requiring the … Read More

How to Secure Erase Free Space on Mac Drives with OS X El Capitan

Apr 28, 2016 - 15 Comments
Erase free space on a Mac drive from the command line

Many Mac users running a modern version of OS X El Capitan have noticed the Secure Erase Free Space feature has gone missing from Disk Utility. What the “Erase Free Space” feature did (and still does in prior versions of Mac OS X) was overwrite the free space on a drive to prevent file recovery, … Read More

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