Mac Terminal commands are powerful instructions that allow users to interact with their Mac system through a text-based interface called the Terminal. They enable users to perform various tasks, from basic file navigation and management to system configuration and network troubleshooting. Here are some essential Mac Terminal commands:
List of 20 Mac Terminal Commands
cd – Navigating Through Directories
cd command stands as the gateway to traverse directories swiftly within the Terminal. For instance, by typing
cd Desktop, you seamlessly shift to the Desktop directory, while
cd alone takes you back to the home directory.
ls – Listing Contents of a Directory
ls: Lists the contents of a directory. Running
ls displays the files and folders within the current directory.
mkdir – Creating New Directories
mkdir: Creates a new directory. For instance,
mkdir Documents generates a ‘Documents’ folder.
rm – Removing Files or Directories
rm: Deletes files or directories. Caution is necessary as it permanently removes items. For instance,
rm file.txt deletes ‘file.txt’.
cp – Copying Files and Directories
cp: Copies files or directories. For example,
cp oldfile.txt newfile.txt creates a copy of ‘oldfile.txt’ named ‘newfile.txt’.
mv – Moving or Renaming Files
mv: Moves or renames files. Use
mv file.txt /directory/ to move ‘file.txt’ to another directory or
mv oldfile.txt newfile.txt to rename a file.
touch – Creating Empty Files
touch: Creates empty files. Running
touch newfile.txt generates a ‘newfile.txt’.
sudo – Executing Commands as Superuser
sudo: Executes commands with superuser/administrator privileges. For instance,
sudo reboot restarts the system.
grep – Searching Within Files
grep: Searches for specific text within files. For example,
grep 'keyword' file.txt searches for ‘keyword’ in ‘file.txt’.
man – Accessing Manual Pages
man: Accesses manual pages for commands. Typing
man ls provides detailed information about the
find – Exploring File System
Navigate through your file system effortlessly with
find. For instance,
find / -name example.txt searches for ‘example.txt’ across the entire system.
chmod – Modifying File Permissions
Grant or revoke file permissions using
chmod 777 file.txt allows complete access to ‘file.txt.’
history – Reviewing Command History
Recall past commands with
history presents a log of previously executed commands.
ping – Testing Network Connections
Troubleshoot network connectivity using
ping. For instance,
ping google.com checks your connection to Google’s servers.
top – Monitoring System Activity
Witness real-time system activity with
top. This command provides insights into running processes and resource consumption.
tar – Compressing and Extracting Files
Manage archives effortlessly with
tar -cvf archive.tar file.txt to create a compressed archive named ‘archive.tar.’
open – Opening Files or Applications
Launch files or applications directly from Terminal with
open document.pdf opens the ‘document.pdf’ file in the default app.
Also Read – How To Open Terminal On Mac
curl – Transferring Data
Transfer data from or to a server using
curl. For instance,
curl -O http://example.com/file.zip downloads ‘file.zip’ from the specified URL.
say – Text-to-Speech Conversion
say by converting text to speech. Type
say "Hello, World!" to hear your Mac speak the phrase aloud.
kill – Terminating Processes
When a process misbehaves,
kill comes to the rescue. Terminate a process using
kill processID by specifying the ID of the errant process.
These are some of the most important terminal commands for mac. You can also check the best terminal apps for mac if you are looking for alternative apps to use these commands.
Mastering these twenty Mac Terminal commands extends unparalleled control and efficiency over your Mac system. While these commands wield immense power, cautious execution and practice are crucial to prevent unintended consequences.