Command Line

The command line interface is an alternate method of interacting with macOS and Mac 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.

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How to Download a File from a Server with SSH / SCP

Nov 7, 2016 - 1 Comment
Terminal in macOS

Users can securely download a file from any remote server with SSH by using the scp tool at the command line. Essentially this means you can have a file stored securely on a remote server and transfer it to local storage without having to expose that file to the outside world, because scp offers the … Read More

View IP Addresses of LAN Devices from Command Line in Mac OS

Nov 3, 2016 - 6 Comments
Terminal in macOS

If you need to view the IP addresses of other hardware on the same LAN (Local Area Network) as a Mac, the command line arp tool works quite well. You’ll quickly find other devices IP and accompanying MAC addresses, which can make direct network connections easier and be helpful for many other network and troubleshooting … Read More

Convert Standard User Account to Administrator Account from Command Line of Mac OS

Nov 1, 2016 - 4 Comments
Change User to Admin Account in Mac OS X

Mac systems administrators may find a need to convert an existing regular user account into an administrator account on a Mac. While most Mac users would be best served by converting account status to admin through the Users & Groups preference panel, advanced users can perform the same function through the Terminal by using the … Read More

Using a Mac Equivalent of Unix “tree” Command to View Folder Trees at Terminal

Sep 9, 2016 - 7 Comments
View Folder Tree Mac Command Line

Mac users who come from a unix background may appreciate knowing how to implement the equivalent to the Unix “tree” command in macOS and Mac OS X. There are actually a few different ways to show a folder tree in the Terminal of Mac OS X, we’ll cover an easy tree equivalent achieved through an … Read More

How to Trigger an Alert Dialog Pop-Up from Command Line in Mac OS

Sep 6, 2016 - 5 Comments
Trigger an alert dialog from command line on Mac

Ever wished you could make a dialog alert pop-up on the Mac by way of the Terminal? Well it turns out that you can with the always useful osascript command, which allows execution of AppleScript from the Terminal. For those who spend a lot of time at the command line of MacOS, this can be … Read More

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

Aug 30, 2016 - 11 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 macOS

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 macOS

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 - 4 Comments
Terminal in macOS

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

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