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

May 10, 2013 - Leave a Comment
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 - 7 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

Rickroll the Terminal with curl

Apr 1, 2013 - 6 Comments
Rick Roll the Terminal

Ever wished you could find a new creative way to rickroll your particularly tech savvy friends? Just about nobody is fooled by the random YouTube links anymore, and URL shorteners alone aren’t always enough, but now you can bring the persistently annoying rickrolling to the Terminal of OS X and Linux by running a simple … Read More

Nmap for Mac OS X Explores Networks, Scans Ports, and More

Mar 26, 2013 - 7 Comments
nmap for Mac OS X

Nmap is a powerful command line network discovery utility that lets you review network inventory, host response and uptime, and perform security auditing through port scans, OS and firewall detection, and more. Though it’s free (and open source) and ships along with many versions of linux, it doesn’t come standard with OS X installations, and … Read More

Use Lynx Browser with Image Support in X11 for Fast Low Bandwidth Web Browsing

Feb 22, 2013 - 12 Comments
Lynx browser in X11 with image support

Longtime command line users are probably familiar with the text based web browser lynx, which strips down the web to text-only format and allows for super-fast web browsing. But lynx (links, technically) can be compiled to support graphics and run within x11, which creates a highly effective web browser for low-bandwidth situations because it strips … Read More

Kill All Processes Belonging to a User with pkill

Feb 18, 2013 - 1 Comment
Kill all processes belonging to a user

Activity Monitor and the traditional ‘kill’ command line tool are able to handle most process termination needs, but if you’ve ever needed to target and kill all processes belonging to a single user account, you know it can be a frustrating task. Though Activity Monitor allows you to sort “Other User Processes” and select multiple … Read More

How to Run GUI Apps as root in Mac OS X

Feb 6, 2013 - 9 Comments
Launch a GUI application as root in Mac OS X

Those familiar with the command line know that running things with super user privileges is typically just a matter of using the sudo command. That still holds true with launching GUI apps into the OS X with root privileges, but it’s not just a matter of prepending sudo to the otherwise useful open command, because … Read More

Simple Tricks to Improve the Terminal Appearance in Mac OS X

Feb 5, 2013 - 26 Comments
Improve the Terminal appearance

The standard terminal appearance is just boring old black text on a white background. Apple included a few nice preset themes too, but to really make your terminals appearance stand out you’ll want to take the time to customize it yourself. While some of these tweaks are admittedly pure eye candy, others genuinely improve the … Read More

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