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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Is Your Mac Slow to Wake from Sleep? Try this pmset Workaround

Jan 21, 2013 - 9 Comments

If your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air feels slow to wake from sleep after it’s been sleeping for a while, there may be a fairly simple cause: standby mode. Standby mode allows a Mac to potentially have up to 30 days of ‘standby’ time, meaning it can sit in a prolonged sleep state for that … Read More

Set MTU Size from the Command Line of Mac OS X

Jan 14, 2013 - 10 Comments

MTU stands for Maximum Transmission Unit, and a larger MTU size generally increases efficiency of a network connection because each packet carries more data, but sometimes the default MTU sizes (often 1500) will cause issues with some networks and needs adjusting. Changing the MTU size has been a solution to some dropping wi-fi connections in … Read More

Converting Image File Formats with the Command Line & sips

Jan 11, 2013 - 6 Comments

Converting images to new file formats is very easy thanks to a variety of tools built directly into OS X (and most Linux distributions). Though the easiest method uses Preview for converting images, there’s a command line option that uses the same sips tool we’ve discussed before to perform batch resizing from the command line. … Read More

Get a List of Preferred Wi-Fi Networks from the Command Line

Jan 3, 2013 - Leave a Comment

Retrieving a list of preferred wireless networks can be helpful when troubleshooting wi-fi problems. The following trick will do just that, and it’s similar to a tip we covered recently which showed how to see a list of previously connected wi-fi networks using either System Preferences or a lengthy command line string, but as far … Read More

See a List of All Wi-Fi Networks a Mac Has Previously Connected To

Dec 21, 2012 - 2 Comments

Knowing which wireless networks a Mac has been connected to in the past be can be helpful for a variety of reasons, including network troubleshooting, determining where a Mac has been, if a specific wifi password is recoverable, and a myriad of other technical reasons. Searching for past networks is completely different from finding currently … Read More

Reset App Access to OS X Privacy Data from the Command Line

Dec 19, 2012 - 11 Comments

If you accidentally permitted an app to gain access to things like your personal contacts list or location, or you’d just like to start over again and have granular control over which applications can access certain data, you can use the command line tool tccutil in OS X 10.8 and later. Think of the tccutil … Read More

How to Clear Command Line History

Dec 17, 2012 - 7 Comments

If you’re a frequent command line user, you’re likely to have found the history command to be quite useful before, whether it’s for discovering your most frequently used commands, dumping history and searching it to find specific past commands, listing all defaults commands used, or whatever else. That said, there are some obvious situations where … Read More

9 Command Line Tricks for Mac OS X You Should Know

Dec 5, 2012 - 14 Comments

The command line is often considered the realm of advanced users, but that doesn’t mean every usage of Terminal has to involve rocket science. This collection of terminal tips should apply to a wide variety of Mac users, and everyone from beginners to advanced users should find something worthwhile here.

Run X11 in Mac OS X with XQuartz

Dec 2, 2012 - 4 Comments

Advanced Mac users may have noticed that X11 is no longer bundled with OS X, and it’s also no longer available as a separate installation option through Developer Tools. Instead, to run X11 on OS X Mountain Lion (and later), you’ll want to download and install the free XQuartz system, which bundles all the necessary … Read More

Batch Resize a Group of Pictures from the Command Line with sips

Nov 25, 2012 - 5 Comments

Though most Mac users will likely prefer to use Preview to batch resize images because of the ease of use, advanced users often like to go with the command line for repetitive tasks. We’ve discussed sips before as a way to resize, rotate, and flip images, but if sips is combined with wildcards it can … Read More

Add a File Extension to a Group of Files from the Command Line in OS X

Nov 22, 2012 - 7 Comments

The quickest way to add a file extension to a group of files that don’t currently have one is by using the command line in Mac OS X. In the example below, we’ll add a “.txt” extension to all files in a single directory, but subbing .txt in the command string will add a different … Read More

Compare Contents of Two Directories from the Command Line

Nov 8, 2012 - 8 Comments

To compare and list the different contents of two directories without the extra output you get through commands like diff, you can use the comm command instead. To get started, launch Terminal and type the following command, adjusting the directory paths as appropriate: comm -3 <(ls -1 folder1) <(ls -1 folder2) The output listed will … Read More

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