10-26-2006, 12:30 PM
Originally Posted by dohidied
Terminal is the Unix command line. It's similar to DOS in the sense that they're both command lines, but Unix predates it by at least 10 years. Just about any tutorial of Unix commands would be helpful in learning about Terminal. Here is a pdf I found that talks about the OS X Terminal which seems to have some good information.
The key thing dohidied forgot to mention that even while Unix predates DOS by ~10 years it is very much more advanced. Never under estimate a bash terminal.
What usefulness does it provide?
The biggest thing I enjoy it for is when I want to do something quick. I'm not a huge mouse fan and I prefer going to a terminal and typing "ifconfig" than going through the various menus to figure out what my assigned IP is. I enjoy just typing "uptime" and seeing how long I've been logged in, I even enjoy the look of "top" vs. the Monitoring tools provided by Mac. I enjoy navigating by paths (cd /Users/<username>/), and being able to copy from one path to another (cp Movies/* Documents/ -R ) and being able to open hidden/system files without mucking around with OS X's sheltered setup.
When I login, what username/password do I supply?
It uses the same setup as the user account you are logged in by default. You'll have all access privaledges that you normally have. You can gain root access (Not recommended until you read up a lot more) by using "su root" (Well, I think it's su root on OS X I tend to forget the little things!).
How powerful is it?
I think more than power it's like tapping deeper into the depths of what your mac is. You have more access to files that normally are a bit sheltered to you with OS X but it isn't like you can't access it via OS X , it's just in my opinion a little more difficult. If you ever want to jump onto a Linux/Unix workstation and know how to work your way around playing with terminal will give you that familiarity. Remember OS X was written on a BSD Unix foundation and it really is just a window manager with an extensive API (Darwin). When you do something "under the hood" of your mac's software it almost always says "Start Terminal" in the instructions.
Is it similar to DOS?
Some what, but DOS was a pretty basic low level *simple* command line driven operating system while the bash terminal is extremely powerful and isn't expired technology like DOS.
This is what I've been looking for in my mac...some manual expandability. Thanks.
Have fun with bash!