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Basics of Command Line
The command line is a powerful tool which can shorten and simplify many tasks.
However, the command line requires some investment in learning. This page covers a few very basic ideas in using the command line.
- Lines preceeded with '#' are explanatory comments.
- The prefix “diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ” is a prompt emitted by the command line; do not type this; your system will have something of the same form reflecting your own system names.
- Commands to type are shown in bold.
Very quick general tips for the command line
- Spaces matter; they are used as separators on the command line. Hence “Macintosh HD” is a nuisance name for a volume, as is any file name with spaces (enclose in straight quotes ""). Hence I name my boot volume “Boot”, which is also shorter and easier to type.
- Directory paths are separated by a forward slash "/".
- Case sensitive: Boot ≠ boot ≠ BOOT.
- The tab key will auto-complete filenames.
- There are a variety of special characters to be aware of, but the main useful one is the "*" character which can be used to wild card file names instead of typing them out (e.g. “ls *.jpg” to list all .jpg files).
$2399 SAVE $300 = 11.0% Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Late 2016, Silver) in Computers: Apple Macs
$1199 SAVE $200 = 14.0% Apple 21.5" iMac with Retina 4K Display (Late 2015) in Computers: Apple Macs
$1999 SAVE $1000 = 33.0% Apple Mac Pro Desktop Computer (Quad-Core, Late 2013) in Computers: Apple Macs
$99 SAVE $40 = 28.0% Fujifilm instax mini 70 Instant Film Camera (Canary Yellow) in Cameras: Film Cameras
$600 SAVE $200 = 25.0% Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless with 14-42mm and 40-150mm… in Cameras: Mirrorless
$900 SAVE $200 = 18.0% Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless (Body, Silver) in Cameras: Mirrorless
Very brief examples of commands
The very, very basics.
# change to home directory diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ cd # change to top level of the volume 'Master' diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ cd /Volumes/Master # change to top level of boot volume diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ cd / # change to Applications folder on boot volume diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ cd /Applications
# list files in current directory diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ls # list files in current directory, recursively diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ls -lR # list files in directory Photos on volume Master diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ls /Volumes/Master/Photos # list all .jpg and .JPG files in current directory (wild card) diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ls *.jpg *.JPG
Run a command in the current directory
# run the command verifyVolumes.sh, found in the current directory diglloyd:MPG lloyd$ ./VerifyVolumes.sh