Mac Command Line: What is the Terminal?

The terminal app, which can be used as standard under macOS on the Apple Mac, emulates a computer terminal that can be used to enter and execute commands. There is only a minimal graphic interface and almost no predefined selection options for inputs and settings to be made. The program, which seems inconspicuous at first glance, can do a lot on the Apple Mac and implement commands for settings in the macOS operating system as well as access individual programs, folders and files as well as servers. Whether simple troubleshooting on a private computer or server management in the company - with the Port everything is possible.

The macOS terminal on the Apple Mac does not have an extensive user interface, but serves as a command line / command line but as a comprehensive tool for activating, deactivating and controlling processes, settings, apps and servers. Here you will find details and instructions for the Mac Terminal.

The macOS terminal on the Apple Mac does not have an extensive user interface, but serves as a command line / command line but as a comprehensive tool for activating, deactivating and controlling processes, settings, apps and servers. Here you will find details and instructions for the Mac Terminal.

The Terminal.app on the Apple Mac

The macOS Terminal can be found in the classic folder structure of the Mac computer System/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app. Applications stands for the "Programs" folder, Utilities stands for the "Utilities" folder. You can also use the terminal simply by entering the app name in Spotlight call. Once open, the terminal window doesn't offer you much, but implements a command you enter immediately after confirmation. 

Basically, you have to know in advance what you actually want to do with the Mac command line. For private users who have little to do with IT, computer support, software development and the like, use is therefore not exactly intuitive. Here and there, however, there are instructions for the Mac that require the use of the terminal. You can find examples from the Sir Apfelot blog below.

Mac terminal for processes, settings and servers

Individual processes can be triggered, monitored, controlled and terminated via the terminal on the Apple Mac. In addition, with the right command, you can make certain settings in the system or for individual software. Sometimes you can use it to replace searching in the system settings, sometimes there is even no counterpart there. For example, some macOS settings can only be found by searching the Internet and then entering the command you find to get the desired result. 

An example of the professional use of the Mac terminal is its use as a command line in server administration. Data exchange, monitoring of individual processes and more are possible via the Terminal.app. If you manage several servers, profiles and different background colors can be created (see above) so that you don't get confused. Below I have linked you to the official instructions from Apple for this purpose.

Examples of using the Terminal command line

The previous paragraphs certainly sound a bit theoretical and not 100 percent understandable for beginners. That's why I'm trying to make the use of the terminal under macOS on the Mac, iMac and MacBook more understandable by means of examples. A recent example would be that Repairing permissions on macOS 11 and 12. In the linked article you will find the command, among other things chflags -R nouchg ~ sudo diskutil resetUserPermissions / 'id -u' to solve error "Error -69841". 

More specific would be fixing app errors, which also uses the terminal as a solution or partial solution – such as problems with Luminar AI. One can also run scripts as shown here: Removal of non-Latin fonts. You can also use the terminal to activate the dark or light mode of the system or an app, change the desktop background image or make other “simple” settings. The only hurdle is knowing the right command.

More information, instructions and assistance

If you, as a user of an Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook, only have to deal with the terminal from time to time because individual problems can only be solved with the command line, then the corresponding instructions should be sufficient for you. Here on the Sir Apfelot blog, we always make sure to describe exactly when you can use which command so nothing goes wrong. But if you want to deal with the terminal emulation from Apple in a more comprehensive and professional way, then I have some additional information for you here:

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2 comments

  1. Hildegard says:

    Dear editors,
    by messing around with the registry, I've overridden the extremely useful "Recently used" feature on the "Desktop". how to restore it

    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply

    soon

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello! Are we talking about the Mac? If yes, in which file did you change something? The exact path to get there would be helpful...

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