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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - The mysterious Terminal

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As some of you may know, I am very much fond of the terminal and solving problems using the command line instead of the GUI. This stems from a couple of factors, but predominantly that I work a substantial amount with Linux and AIX in my job. The command line can be a frightening place at first, but once you get used to it I think most will find it an invaluable resource. So I have gathered a few resources for those who are interested in learning how to use the terminal to its fullest:

First is CLIX . CLIX is a GUI interface containing a large number of common, and not so common commands. I have never used it before, but I just downloaded it and it looks like a useful resource. I am a little sceptical on how useful it would be as a learning tool though. It contains many commands but very little explanation on why the command does what it does. This could serve as a half way house between the OS X GUI and the untamed Terminal.

Next I found a very nice article on permissions and how to change them from both the command line and the GUI. Since this is a subject that seems to come up often this would be a useful article to read to give some firm background on what permissions do.

Finally OReilly: I really like OReilly for all technical stuff. Here is a multi part article on the Tiger shell and what you can do with it. I only skimmed it but it seems like a good beginners tutorial from what I saw. In the dead tree format (or using ) I would recommend "Learning the Bash Shell" and "Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger" both from OReilly Press.

If anyone has any specific thing they would like to learn how to do from the Terminal feel free to post a question and hopefully I or someone else on the forums will be able to help. I am a far cry from an expert but I am fairly familiar with BASH and know how to get around in it. On the other hand I learn new things every day myself as new things come up.

<Stepping up on the soap box>
There are those who feel that the command line is the proper place for all work, I am not of this philosophy. GUI's were created to simplify our lives and if we do not use them they are not doing their job. On the other hand the command line can do some trickier operations much quicker and with less chance of user error. Also you can create a script to automate things in BASH, which you can not exactly do in a GUI. So as always it is a case of the right tool for the right job.
</Stepping up on the soap box>
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Thank you very much for the very usefull information. I am sure this is going to help out a number of people who wish to work in the terminal or just learn it. I am still learning myself but I find that it is something that is very usefull to know as when a problem arises sometimes it is best to fix it in terminal.

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Member Since: May 26, 2005
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I was curious about unix and the terminal a few weeks ago, I'd already played with one last year but didn't really know enough to get anything from it. Anyway, I found the PDF book on this site, unixmages, really useful. The style of writing is totally unformal so it's very easy to read without getting bored.
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