Mac OS X Command Line Tools
We only present a few of the many command line tools available. Please have a look at Apple's Command-Line Administration Guide for a completer introduction.
List System Information
This shows the version and build number of the installed Mac OS X.
This will list the hardware and software configuration for the MacOS X workstation. Among the useful information you can find the type of the CPU, the serial number of the Macintosh, the amount of RAM, the size, type, and serial number of the hard disk(s) and the installed major software packages. This is the command line equivalent of "Apple -> About this Mac".
Open Applications or Files
Applications or files can be opened without any clicks from the command line.
open file # open file with default application open -e file # open file in TextEditor open -a Calculator # open application Calculator open -a Preview doc.pdf # open doc.pdf in Preview open -g file # open file in the background with default application open http://www.example.com/ # open webpage in default browser open mailto:email@example.com # compose new email with default client opendiff file1 file2 # open FileMerge (Xcode) with differences between file1 and file2
Apple Software Updates
The updates for Apple software can be checked for and installed from the menu "Apple -> Software Update" or the command line
/usr/sbin/softwareupdate -l # list all available updates /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -i <name> # install specific update /usr/sbin/softwareupdate -ia # install all updates
read/write user settings
To view your user configuration settings you can type
defaults read /
To enable showing hidden dotfiles in Finder you can run
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE; killall Finder
(substitute FALSE to disable it again)
See for instance http://secrets.blacktree.com for more examples of defaults write hacks.