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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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 - 1 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 - 14 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

7 Advanced Tricks to Reclaim Disk Space for Pro Users of Mac OS X

May 10, 2013 - 4 Comments
Pro tips for advanced users to free up hard drive space in OS X

Running out of disk space is never fun, and drive space comes at a premium for those of us with smaller SSD drives like the MacBook Air with a 64GB or 128GB drive. These tricks are fairly advanced and thus aimed at the pro segment of SSD users who are comfortable modifying system functions and … Read More

How to Exclude Files from a Zip Archive

Apr 30, 2013 - 1 Comment
Zip archive icon

The easiest way to exclude many specific files or a group of matched files from a zip archive is by skipping the easy zipping utility built into Mac OS X’s friendly UI and turn over to the command line, where the powerful zip command resides.

Improve Command Line History Search with These .inputrc Modifications

Apr 24, 2013 - Leave a Comment
Terminal logo

If you’re a heavy command line user, you’re probably well aware that the arrow keys can be used to flip through previously executed commands and the tab key can complete them. But both of these functions can be significantly improved upon for searching through past command history by adding a few modifications to your .inputrc … Read More

How to Change File Ownership in Mac OS X

Apr 23, 2013 - 3 Comments
User icon

Though it’s somewhat rare to encounter ownership and permissions errors in OS X, it can happen, particularly when an account has been moved, or a files owner has been modified by a third party application. Oftentimes you can just run through the process to repair user permissions, but that’s not always guaranteed to sort out … Read More

Customize the Command Line by Adding Emoji Icons to the Bash Prompt

Apr 8, 2013 - 8 Comments
Add Emoji icons to the Terminal prompt

A very unique and amusing way to customize the bash prompt appearance is to add one of OS X’s Emoji icons to transform the appearance of the prompt itself. This isn’t going to be the most practical tweak in the world on it’s own, but it is entertaining and because it’s using traditional methods of … Read More

Keep Track of Defaults Write Commands Used in Mac OS X Automatically

Apr 3, 2013 - 8 Comments
used defaults write commands list

If you like to tweak Mac OS X with a lot of defaults write commands from the terminal, you already know how hard it can be to keep track of them. Sure you can query command history for specific command syntax, and you can always use grep to find executed defaults commands, but there’s a … Read More

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