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 Add Gatekeeper Exceptions from Command Line in Mac OS X

Jul 15, 2015 - 7 Comments
Terminal in OS X

Typically if you want to have an application launch approved by the GateKeeper feature on a Mac, you right-click on the unidentified developers application and choose “Open”, or go through System Preferences to bypass Gatekeeper that way. Another option is to manually add application approvals and exceptions to Gatekeeper by turning to the command line … Read More

How to Load & Unload Kernel Extensions in OS X

Jun 24, 2015 - 5 Comments
Loading and unloading kernel extensions in Mac OS X

Kernel extensions, called kext for short, are modules of code that are loaded directly into the kernel space of OS X, able to run at a low-level to perform a variety of tasks. Most kexts are part of the core Mac OS X system software, typically hardware device drivers, but some third party apps will … Read More

How to Copy an ISO to a USB Drive from Mac OS X with dd

Jun 5, 2015 - 27 Comments
Find the disk identifier with diskutil list to direct dd to

If you have downloaded an ISO image of another operating system, say Ubuntu Linux or Windows 10, and you wish to turn that ISO image file into a bootable USB installer drive using a USB flash drive or USB key, you’ll find the most reliable way to copy or ‘burn’ the ISO to that target … Read More

Find Detailed Wi-Fi Connection History from Command Line of Mac OS X

Jun 3, 2015 - 3 Comments

There are some situations where knowing exactly what wireless networks a Mac has connected to and when that connection was last established can be helpful. We’ll demonstrate how to uncover a comprehensive listing of specifics about previously joined wi-fi networks, which will include the last connection date and time (to the second!), if the network … Read More

How to Change DNS from Command Line of Mac OS X

Jun 2, 2015 - 4 Comments
Terminal in OS X

Advanced Mac users may find it useful to know that DNS servers in OS X can be set from the command line, without having to turn to the System Preferences Network control panel. While the GUI Network control panel is undeniably the easiest approach for most Mac users, the command line method offers benefits for … Read More

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

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 - 4 Comments
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

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