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.

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How to Disable Gatekeeper from Command Line in Mac OS X

May 4, 2015 - 3 Comments
Gatekeeper warning in Mac OS X prevents unknown apps being launched

Though most Mac users will want to keep Gatekeeper enabled for security purposes, some advanced users find that Gatekeeper is overly zealous in preventing third party apps from being used in OS X. While it’s easy to turn off Gatekeeper through the System Preferences on a Mac, another option is to disable Gatekeeper by using … Read More

How to Read .cap Packet Capture File on Mac OS X with tcpdump

May 1, 2015 - Leave a Comment
read-captured-packet-cap-file

Whether performing a packet trace or sniffing and capturing packets from a network, the result is usually the creation of a .cap capture file. That .cap, pcap, or wcap packet capture file is created regardless of what you’re using to sniff a network, a fairly common task among network administrators and security professionals. Perhaps the … Read More

How to Resize a VirtualBox VDI or VHD File on Mac OS X

Apr 7, 2015 - 1 Comment
VirtualBox manager

If you use VirtualBox to run guest operating systems within a virtual machine on the Mac, like Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux, you may find yourself needing to resize the virtual disk size where the OS resides. This is often the case when you inadequately estimate how much space is required for properly installing in … Read More

How to Find the Build Number of OS X on a Mac

Mar 23, 2015 - 3 Comments
Find the build number of OS X from the command line with sw_vers

Each release of OS X has a unique build number assigned to it to represent the changes found in that version of system software, often these changes are minor and incremental, but with major OS X releases the build numbers can change significantly. Though average Mac users won’t need to know the build number of … Read More

Perform Detailed DNS Lookups with host Command in OS X

Mar 19, 2015 - 3 Comments
Terminal in OS X

All domains are associated with an IP address, whether it’s for a website, mail server, or whatever else. While using nslookup offers a simple way to get DNS information and an IP for a specific website or domain, if you want a significantly more detailed retrieval, you can use the host command instead. The host … Read More

How to Bypass a FileVault Password On a Per Boot Basis with OS X

Mar 6, 2015 - 7 Comments
Lock a Mac Screen

Using FileVault full disk encryption is one of the better ways to protect your Mac and personal documents from prying eyes and password resets, but if you’re troubleshooting a Mac with FileVault, either your own or someone else’s, it’s kind of annoying to have another layer of passwords necessary to enter before you’ll be able … Read More

How to Enable & Disable root User from Command Line in OS X

Feb 19, 2015 - Leave a Comment
Terminal in OS X

Though most advanced Mac users will find it easiest to enable root with Directory Utility from the GUI of OS X, another option is to turn to the command line. No, we’re not talking about using sudo or su, we’re talking about enabling the actual root user account, which can be appropriate for some complex … Read More

Flatten a Nested Directory & File Hierarchy from Command Line of OS X

Feb 11, 2015 - 14 Comments
Nested directory structure to flatten as shown in the Finder of Mac OS X

Have you ever needed to flatten a directory structure, moving all file contents from a directories child folders into a single folder? While you can do this manually by moving around files and folders from the file system of OS X or Linux, a faster option is to turn to the command line. Maybe at … Read More

Understanding Why Terminal Doesn’t Let You Type a Password

Feb 4, 2015 - 10 Comments
Typing a password into Terminal won't show up, this is intentional

Sometimes you need to enter a password into the terminal, usually for sudo or su commands, which lets users execute a command with super user privileges. This is fairly typical for allowing access to read or modify something that would otherwise not be possible with a standard user account. You’ll commonly see sudo prefixing another … Read More

Set or Disable Sleep Due to Mac System Inactivity from the Command Line in OS X

Feb 3, 2015 - 4 Comments
Sleep Mac

Mac users can adjust the idle time to sleep their computers easily through the Energy Saver preference panel, but many advanced OS X users may wish to turn to the command line to perform such a task. This allows for scripting, remote checking and changing idle sleep behavior through SSH, and you can also use … Read More

Increase Font Size in Terminal for Mac OS X Quickly with Keystrokes

Jan 11, 2015 - 4 Comments
increase-font-size-terminal-mac

The default text size used by Terminal app in OS X can be quite small if you’re using a large resolution display. While you can change the font to be better suit your preferences, and increasing the line spacing helps reading too, another simple solution to boost readability is to simply increase the text size … Read More

Clear Font Caches & Font Databases in Mac OS X to Resolve Unusual Font Problems

Jan 8, 2015 - 11 Comments
Fonts displaying erroneously in Mac OS X

In some unusual and admittedly rare situations, fonts in OS X and various Mac apps may display erroneously, or outright fail to display. Typically this happens after a font has been modified or a font has been installed outside of the standard ~/Library/Fonts directory, but it can happen out of the blue in some situations … Read More

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