Commands For Mac Terminal


Terminal is one of the most important tools in MacOS be it any field. To get good knowledge about the terminal is important. It teaches you many things in an innovative way which is liked by most of the developers. It’s a knowledge that only geeks and geniuses have. Here are some commands with the most impressive features.

The commands used below may or may not be installed in your system. To install them use the brew command as follows:

Make Terminal windows stand out with profiles. When you’re logged in to several servers, unique background colors and window titles specified in profiles help you easily spot the right Terminal window. Use profiles built into Terminal, or create your own custom profiles. How to create profiles for Terminal. If you’re working in Terminal on your Mac, you need to know the most important UNIX commands: those that work with directories, those that work with files, and miscellaneous but commonly used commands. Folders are called directories in UNIX. Commands that refer to filenames, as most do, assume that you’re talking about files in the. Mac Terminal Commands – Complete List This is a complete A- Z index of all Mac commands and the terminal events associated with those commands. We have compiled this list by using official sources and have explained more clearly and elaborately about each of them.

Using say command

Mac Terminal Commands List. There are tons of commands that you can make use of. Let’s focus on some of the most common MacOS Terminal commands you need to be familiar with when you are mastering the Terminal. There are a few features that are applicable for any command.

Make your Mac talk what you want using the say command:

Setup Login Message

Set up a login message to display for yourself on your Mac using the following command –

Using cowsay command

Using emacs command

After the above command press “enter” then “escape” then “x”. Now you enter the following commands:

  • doctor
  • snake
  • solitaire
  • pong.

These are some command, there are many more. The doctor provides you a psychiatrist to talk and snakes, solitaire, etc are games.

Using Fortune command

This command displays random quotes

Star Wars Animation

You can see the complete Star Wars animation in your terminal using this command.

Using cmatrix command

This command displays a neo style matrix on the terminal.

Using rev command

This command reverses all the content of the file. It is used as follows.

Recommended Posts:

If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to [email protected] See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

Please Improve this article if you find anything incorrect by clicking on the 'Improve Article' button below.

Apple's macOS platform includes Terminal, which is equivalent to Command Prompt in Windows OS. Since the macOS is based on UNIX, Terminal might give you a vibe of a dangerous tool where one wrong command can wreck your system. Sure, it is valid only to an extent. There are a bunch of harmless commands that are usable in customizing the interface and other settings of macOS.

The Terminal on macOS can be extremely useful in tweaking the performance of your Mac. Now it entirely depends on what you want to achieve. In case you have been dreading to use it, you can always get comfortable by using simpler tricks. Here are the top 11 terminal command tricks to try on your Mac.

Also on Guiding Tech
How To Speed Up a Slow Mac
Read MoreNote: While selecting/copying a command, make sure you scroll all the way towards right to select the complete command in the gray box. Otherwise partial commands will not work as intended.

1. Open Folders

One of the coolest ways to get familiar with the Terminal is to use it to open files and folders. I know that clicking on Finder will do the same. However, using Terminal, you can open a specific folder or a file without exposing your file structure to anyone.

Let's say you want to open your Documents folder. Then you can type the following command and then hit Enter.

And that opens my Documents folder. There's a DOCX file in there. I can use Terminal to open that too. For that, you need to type out the command with some requirements — the path of the respective file:

Open -a 'Application Name' /Path/to/File

So for opening the DOCX file in the Documents folder of my Mac, I typed in the command below and then hit Enter:

That opens up the specific file using the predefined program. You can also use the wildcard character (*.extension) instead of the full filename. However, if you have more than one file in carrying the same extension, then it might freeze your Mac for a bit.

2. Change Default Save Screenshot Location

By default, the macOS Mojave stores the screenshots on the Mac's desktop. Now if you have iCloud sync enabled, which I am sure you do, then it keeps uploading to your account. Thankfully, you can change the save location for the screenshots instead of crowding your desktop.

Here's the command you need to type before hitting Enter:

In the above command, you can provide any specific file location instead of ~/Downloads as shown.

After hitting Enter, I need to reset the SystemUIServer for the changes to take effect immediately. So feed in the following command.

Though it is not required, I would recommend restarting your Mac.

3. Change Screenshot Image Type

The macOS saves the screenshots in JPG format by default. You can change that to save them in PNG or PDF formats too. Here's how to do that quickly with this specific command:

After that, you need to kill the SystemUIServer again.
Most commands which require some system changes shall mandate shutting down the SystemUIServer. So do that quickly.

Now, your new screenshots will save in the PNG format. Do note that PNG files are generally larger than JPG files. So keep an eye on how much storage space they consume.

4. Show Hidden Files

Have you tried looking for the option to let the Finder show hidden files? Well, it is tougher than picking the show hidden files on Windows. I always forget how to enable that. Thankfully there is a helpful command that makes it happen in a few seconds.

After that, you need to force shut the Finder.

Now you should see a lot of hidden files in the Finder. They would be greyed out but still visible. If you roll back this change, then you need to change TRUE to FALSE in the command.

5. Switch Off the Dashboard

Apple promoted the Dashboard view to access calculator and sticky notes quickly. I bet you rarely use that one for you can launch the Calculator app or Sticky Notes app using Mission Control of Spotlight. So you can switch it off and don't have to worry about opening it by mistake.

Here's the command to turn off the Dashboard.

Next, you must kill the Dock so that the changes are correctly applied.

Now I don't have to worry about accidentally opening the Dashboard. If you want to switch it on again, then change TRUE to FALSE in the command.

Also on Guiding Tech
How to Install New Fonts in Mac OS X
Read More

6. Download Files

Did you know that you can download files using the Terminal? Yes, you don't need to keep the browser running just for that file. The only requirement here is that you must have the file's download link. So the command syntax is:

curl -0 downloadlink

First, navigate to the folder where you want to download the file. For that, you need to switch to the Downloads directory.

After that, you can feed the command to download the VLC for macOS from the official site. It would appear something like this:

Note: There is a letter O in the command and not the 0 (zero).Terminal

7. Ditto for Backups

Copying files and taking backups on macOS is quite swift — thanks to the SSDs and the flash storage. However, it does take a while to copy a large amount of data. Thankfully, Terminal offers a useful command to copy files. Here's how you can do it while watching the name of files that the command copies.

ditto -V /currentpath/ /new/path/

So I want to copy the DMG downloaded in the previous section to the desktop.

That should do the needful. If you want to copy the files to an external drive, then you need to provide the destination path correctly.

8. Always Show File Path in the Finder

If you have switched from Windows recently, you would have noticed that the Finder on macOS doesn't show file path like the Explorer in Windows. However, you can force Finder to show you the file path with this command:

After hitting enter, you need to stop the Finder.

After you hit Enter, the Finder will relaunch. Then you should see the file paths at the top of the Finder window.

9. Power Chime on Connecting the Charger

Has it ever happened that you've connected the MagSafe charger to your Mac but forgot to flip on the power switch? I have lost the count. Thankfully, I stumbled upon this useful command that provides an audio feedback chime whenever I connect the MagSafe charger.

Feed this command in the Terminal and hit Enter.

10. Stop Your Mac from Sleeping

Often you are downloading a massive file, and you don't want your Mac go to sleep. If it is a temporary requirement, then a simple command can make it happen. Just type the following command, hit Enter and walk away from your Mac.

In this command, the number 600 signifies seconds. So with this command, the Mac won't sleep until 10 minutes (600 seconds). You can enter a relevant number of seconds or just the word 'caffeinate' to prevent your Mac from sleeping.

However, if you close that Terminal window, then the command will stop executing and the Mac will go to sleep on a predefined time.

11. Check Your Mac's Uptime


Wondering how long it has been since you've restarted your Mac? A simple restart can sort a lot of things in order and boost your Mac's performance. Here's a command to check your how long your Mac has been running without a Restart or a Shutdown

That should give you all the details with a timestamp.

Also on Guiding Tech
Click here to see our productivity articles page

Using Terminal Is Fun

The Terminal is an absolute delight to use and tinker around in the macOS. However, we would strictly advise against using random commands provided by unverified sources or strangers. Other than that, these commands should run on latest macOS Mojave update till last few versions.

You should always double-check the Terminal commands that involve removing, deleting or disabling any service. If you stick to our list, then you would be confident of using Terminal like a pro.

Next up: Are you bored of the same old Lock Screen on your Mac? Here is a nifty guide that will show how to customize the lock screen on your macOS Mojave running Mac.

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.Read NextHow to Customize the Lock Screen on macOS 10.14 MojaveAlso See

Best Terminal Commands For Mac


Mac Terminal Tutorial


Mac Command Line List

Did You Know

Basic Commands For Mac Terminal

Thunderbolt 3 is a data and video transfer protocol and is developed by Intel.

More in Mac

Top 4 Ways to Fix Mac Desktop Icons Missing or Not Showing