Open Terminal On Mac And Learn How To Use It

Open Terminal On Mac

A lot of times you might be stumped about how you can increase your computers functionality. There are always tips and tricks available on the internet about how you can do various things to your computer to increase its functionality. And this piece is in a similar vein; we will be guiding you on how exactly the Terminal App works on your Mac computer and how it can actually help you control your computer through command prompt. The Terminate app is actually build specifically for Mac computers so to open Terminal on Mac is supremely easy. Keep reading out article to find out how exactly you can use this app to ensure that you are able to make the most out of your Mac computer by being able to carry out various complex and creative tasks!

Instructions: Open Terminal on Mac

The Terminal App is located in the Utilities folder which is found within the Applications section. If you want to open Terminal on Mac, you will first need to go to your Applications and then find the Utilities folder within it. Once you have located it and then accessed it, you need to either click on the Terminal option and double click as well. If you want the easier way to get to the Terminal app just bring up the Command option and type in ‘Terminal’ to access it directly.

The window that will now pop up on your screen will be mostly white. The title bar will contain a few items; your username, the information on pixels of the screen and the singular word ‘bash’. Bash here is short for ‘Bourne Again Shell’. There are various shells that can run the Unix commands but the one found in Mac is used by Terminal.

Simple Commands for Terminal

The best way to wrap you head around Terminal is to dive right into it. But before you actually do that, you need to spend some time trying to figure out how the different commands work. When you want to actually run a command all you need to do is type it into where the cursor is and press Return to make it work.

Each command consists of three different aspects; the command on its own, the piece which determines what resource it needs and the last is the option which changes the output. So if the action you want to execute is moving a file to another folder, you will need to type in the letters “mv” and then follow it

Now it’s time for you to attempt it yourself with the help of the following example:

  1. Write the following command: cd ~/Documentsthen and then click on Return to go back to your Home folder.
  2. Now write lsthen Return (you need to write Return after each command you give).

At this point you should be able to see all the files which are in the Documents folder.

If you want an idea about all the different commands which you can run on Terminal, you need to press the Escape key for a while and then click on Y, at this point the system will ask you if you want to see all the possible commands.

And because Unix comes with a manual with it, you can learn more about any command by just typing the name of the command and you will be given more information about it.

Terminal rules

When you are using Terminal or in fact any other command line type tool, you need to keep a few things in mind. The first thing to remember is that every space you enter is pertinent. Thus when you are read this piece and see an example command, make sure you also include the spaces we have added.

When you open Terminal on Mac and use itOpen , you track pad will be useless and all you will be able to navigate with are your keys. If you have a command that you ran before you just need to use the upward facing arrow key and press it till you reach that particular command. If you want to stop a command you ran you can write in ‘Control-C’.

If you forget to type in the location of where the command you want to run, then the command will be carried out except it will land you in the space where the last command was run. Use the steps we have highlighted above to ensure something like this does not happen.

There is however one more way where you can specify the location, first you need to go to Finder and then drag the location manually to the window for Terminal and with your cursor tap on the path and you can have it entered atomically.

Below is one more example. However, this time we will create another folder in the directory for Documents and title it ‘TerminalTest.’

  1. The first thing you need to do is open a Finder window and then go back to your Documents folder
  2. Now you need to write in ‘cd’ and drag the Documents folder to where you have open Terminal on Mac
  3. At this point you will need to write ‘mkdir’ “Terminal Test”

Now you need to return to the Finder window again and click on the Text Edit option. Once this is done you need to create a new file titled ‘TerminalTestFile.rtf’ and save the folder to Terminal Test inside your Documents folder.

Now you need to go back to the Terminal window once again and write cd ~/Documents/TerminalTest then press Return. And now if you will write Island you will see “TerminalTestFile’ in its place instead.

If you want to change the name of the file, then write this and make sure to click on Return after you complete each step:

  1. ~/Documents/TerminalTest
  2. mv TerminalTestFile TerminalTestFile2.rtf

When you have completed these steps, the name of the file will have changed to “TerminalTestFile2”. This was merely an example and you are free to use any name you want. The mv command refers to “move” and you can use it to move your files from one place to another. In this instance, you will be able to keep the name of the file exactly as it was and be able to specify them by making sure you use the second name of the directory you had set earlier. Keeping with our example here is how you can do this:

mv ~/Documents/TerminalTest TerminalTestFile.rtf ~/Documents/TerminalTest2 TerminalTestFile.rtf

Further Complicated Terminal commands

You can use the Terminal App for various tasks. While some of the same things can be done with Finder, there are some which cannot be done with it and thus needs specialized tools. A few examples are listed below:

Copying files from one place to another
  1. Type in Ditto [folder 1] [folder 2] in Terminal. Folder 1 will be the name of where the file is and folder 2 should be where you want to send them to.
  2. If you want to witness the files being copied, type in ‘-v’ after the command
Download files directly from the internet

If you want to do this, you will need the web address of where the file is located before you open Terminal on Mac

  1. cd ~/Downloads/
  2. curl -O [URL of file you want to download]

And if you wanted the downloaded file to be saved somewhere other than your Downloads, instead of ~/Downloads/ type in the name of the folder you want them in instead.

Change where you save Screenshots

If you have another place in mind other than your desktop for your saved screenshots, all you need to do is change the name of the location on Terminal when you click the usual Command-Shift-3 combination.

  1. type com.apple.screencapture location [this is where you want to save]
  2. Click Return
  3. killall SystemUIServer
  4. Click Return
Change file type set by default for screenshots

On MacOS whenever you save a screenshot it will be saved as a PNG but you can change this so that it always saves to a JPG

  1. Typed com.apple.screencapture type JPG
  2. Hit Return
  3. killall SystemUIServer
  4. Click Return
Delete Everything Inside a Folder

When you want to delete files in Terminal the command for that is rm.

So if you want to delete everything a folder may contain, the command is rm -R folder and if you want to ensure that everything is deleted type rm -I R folder.

Other Ways to Free Space Up

Instead of trying to open Terminal on Mac to free up space, you can go and download specialist apps which are designed to help clear space of your Mac computer. Apps such as CleanMyMacX work like a charm.

We hope this article helped clear out any confusion you might have had about terminal. The application definitely seems daunting when you have no experience with it but once you open Terminal on mac and start using it, it gets incredibly easy to use. All it takes is a little patience and a little practice!

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