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

List All Apps Downloaded from the Mac App Store via Command Line

Sep 28, 2013 - Leave a Comment
List Mac App Store apps from the Terminal

A handy terminal command will show a list of all apps installed on a Mac that have come exclusively from the Mac App Store. This can be helpful for a variety of reasons, like when building a list of apps you may want to replace from outside the official App Store channels if you’re migrating … Read More

Start a Web Search in a GUI Browser from the Command Line

Aug 22, 2013 - 2 Comments
Search the web from the command line

With the help of a simple command line function, you can quickly initiate a web search in your GUI web browser of choice right from the Terminal app. We’ll cover a few examples, demonstrating searching the web with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia, and using a variety of different web browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and … Read More

Find & Replace Text in Multiple Documents from the Command Line

Aug 20, 2013 - Leave a Comment
terminal-icon

If you’re comfortable with the command line and ever in a situation where you need to find and replace a word, phrase, URL, or character across a group of multiple text documents, perl does the job quite well. A simple command string will very quickly perform a group batch find and replace on text, whether … Read More

Turn the Terminal into a Matrix-Style Scrolling Screen of Binary or Gibberish

Aug 15, 2013 - Leave a Comment
Scrolling Matrix terminal window

The command line is usually thought of as serious and we usually only cover useful terminal tricks that are fairly advanced, but not everything in the Terminal has to be useful. To prove that, we have three command strings that when pasted into the OS X Terminal, do nothing but scroll screenfuls of random text, … Read More

How to Repair a Mac Disk with fsck from Single User Mode

Aug 7, 2013 - 1 Comment
Terminal icon

Using Disk Utility through Recovery Mode is the preferred and primary tool for repairing disks on the Mac platform, but if Disk Utility is either unavailable or not able to repair a drive, then Single User Mode and the command line tool fsck should be your next choice.

Test Internet Connection Speed from the Command Line

Jul 31, 2013 - 1 Comment
Speed test from the Command Line

The excellent wget tool provides for a simple way to test the speed of an internet connection directly from the command line. Though it’s bundled with most unix variations, Mac users will first need to grab wget for OS X in order for this to work, wget is a simple terminal utility used to download … Read More

Quickly Get an External IP Address from the Command Line

Jul 16, 2013 - Leave a Comment
External IP address example

Need to quickly get your external IP address from the command line for SSH or otherwise? No sweat, you can use either the curl command or dig to extract the information quickly from a variety of sources. We’ll focus on two different options that have proven to be reliable over time, the first is quite … Read More

Secure Remove Files & Directories from Mac OS X with the Command Line

Jun 9, 2013 - 1 Comment
Terminal logo

Need to securely delete a file, group of files, or an entire directory, insuring that it’s quite literally never recoverable by any known possible means? You can do this easily from the command line with the help of an incredibly powerful tool called srm. srm, as you may have guessed, stands for ‘secure removal’, and … Read More

Watch Network Traffic in Mac OS X via Command Line with nettop

Jun 7, 2013 - Leave a Comment
Nettop network activity

Mac OS X includes an excellent command line network utility called “nettop” that allows users to monitor all network activity, traffic, and routes from a Mac to the outside world, both through local (LAN) and wide area (WAN) connections. If you’re unfamiliar with networking tools like this, you can think of nettop as a network … Read More

Create a Large File from the Command Line or Disk Utility for Testing Purposes

May 31, 2013 - Leave a Comment
Large test file created at the command line

Large empty files are often used for testing purposes during disk access tests, development, QA, zeroing out data, and scripting. Though it’s certainly not applicable to most users, it’s easy enough to do that anyone can try it out even if you don’t have a specific need. We’ll cover three ways to quickly generate files … Read More

How to Pause & Resume an App or Process in Mac OS X

May 30, 2013 - 1 Comment
Pause a process in Mac OS X to save CPU

Need to quickly free up some processing power? You can do that easily by temporarily pausing and then later resuming any active process or application in Mac OS X. Technically, this is actually ‘stopping’ and ‘continuing’ a process, but a stop is not to be confused with the more aggressive killing or force quitting applications … Read More

Mount & Unmount Drives from the Command Line in Mac OS X

May 13, 2013 - 9 Comments
Mount and unmount drives from the command line in Mac OS X

The easiest way to unmount a drive in OS X is to either just drag a volume into the Trash, use the eject keys, disconnect the drive, or use one of the force eject methods. Along the same lines, if you want to remount a drive you can usually just physically unplug the drive and … Read More

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