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The terminal application

From: Unix for Mac OS X Users

Video: The terminal application

As I explained in the last movie, the way that we'll interact with Unix is going to be from the command line and the way that we'll do that on a Mac is going to be using the Terminal application. It's going to provide a command line access to Unix and it comes preinstalled with Mac OS X. So if you have Mac OS X, you have this application. It's going to be located inside your Applications folder, inside the folder called Utilities, and there you'll see the program Terminal. A very useful shortcut is that if you're in the Finder you can type Shift+Command+U and it will open the Utilities folder directly and there you'll see it.

The terminal application

As I explained in the last movie, the way that we'll interact with Unix is going to be from the command line and the way that we'll do that on a Mac is going to be using the Terminal application. It's going to provide a command line access to Unix and it comes preinstalled with Mac OS X. So if you have Mac OS X, you have this application. It's going to be located inside your Applications folder, inside the folder called Utilities, and there you'll see the program Terminal. A very useful shortcut is that if you're in the Finder you can type Shift+Command+U and it will open the Utilities folder directly and there you'll see it.

Just try that together and we can launch Terminal and see how it works. So here I am. You can see that I am inside my Finder. I'll hold down Shift+Command+U and it will open up my Utilities folder and right down here you'll see that I have Terminal. Now I could just double-click it to launch it, but because we're going to be using it a lot throughout this training title I am going to drag it into the dock down here so I'll have good easy access to it. So I close that window and now I can launch it and now what we're seeing is Unix or our command line access to Unix. You can see that gives us our last login information followed by a bunch of text which is our prompt, and then after that is our cursor where we can type. So we can just type hello for example and then I can hit the Delete key to erase that.

So that's where we are going to type in our commands and then when we're done we'll hit Return after each command and then Unix will do whatever we've asked and respond to us. Let's take a look at a couple of things we can do to customize our Terminal environment before we move on. The first is that by holding down the Command key, either with or without the Shift key, and pressing Plus or Minus we can change the font size and the window size as well. So things will scroll up or down if you want something a little bigger to look at. An even better way to do this though I think is to go into the Terminal Preferences.

Under Terminal Preferences we can change what Window settings we use to start up. Mine right now uses basic. If I click Settings we can see what those settings are for basic. I also have a number of other ones here, including one that I've created myself, OTL_Prefs. You can use the plus sign here to create a new one or you can actually duplicate settings from one if you want to make changes, just a few modifications to give it its own name. Here is mine for OTL_Prefs. What I've done here is I've changed my cursor from a block cursor, which we see here, to being just an underline.

That's a little easier to see. When my cursor is on the top of the character you will be able to see the character underneath a little easier. I've also changed the text colors here and under Window I've changed the Background Color to black. I think that this color text on a black background is a little easier to read for me and also I think in the video it's easier for you to be able to read as well. So I've made those changes. The other real change I think I've made here is that under Advanced I've turned off the bell that sounds at times. It's sort of a warning bell. It bothers me. I don't like it.

It's just a personal preference. I don't like having that audible bell. But you can play around with these things. Don't really mess with the Shell and the Keyboard, those are a little more advanced, but feel free to go ahead and make changes to Text, Window, and this Advanced window as well and see if you can get an environment that you like. You also see I am using a larger font size here as well. So I am going to make this my default now by clicking Default and I am going to go to Startup and make sure that that says New window will start up with OTL_Prefs. So there we are. If I close this now, I can open a new window by going to Shell > New Window or you can see I could just use the Command+N key to get a new window like you normally would a Finder window and it will open up now with my new color scheme, larger fonts and everything like that.

So just wanted you to see how I arrived with this different look. Feel free to customize it to your needs. There is one more thing in addition to the plus/minus, which makes your font bigger/smaller. Another nice shortcut to know is Command +K, which you'll see from up here under the View, is Clear Scrollback. What that does is as I'm typing, I am just going to hit Return a whole bunch of times here, you will see that it keeps scrolling and we started getting a scrollbar here that let's us go back and review what we've done previously. That's called the scrollback, and if we use Clear Scrollback or Command+K, it clears that for us and we no longer have it available to us to scroll back up.

So it's useful if you sort of want to get everything off your screen and get a clean environment again, you can use that Command+K trick and you may see me do that from time-to-time. There is no harm in leaving all those old commands there. You can actually go back and review them. You can even search them if you need to search for something that you did previously. So sometimes it can be really useful to have that scrollback. It's really up to you how you want to use it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Unix for Mac OS X Users
Unix for Mac OS X Users

82 video lessons · 25413 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 57s
    1. Introduction
      1m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 43s
  2. 32m 2s
    1. What is Unix?
      7m 27s
    2. The terminal application
      4m 23s
    3. Logging in and using the command prompt
      5m 19s
    4. Command structure
      5m 22s
    5. Kernel and shells
      5m 25s
    6. Unix manual pages
      4m 6s
  3. 15m 58s
    1. The working directory
      2m 49s
    2. Listing files and directories
      3m 59s
    3. Moving around the filesystem
      4m 58s
    4. Filesystem organization
      4m 12s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. Naming files
      5m 41s
    2. Creating files
      2m 19s
    3. Unix text editors
      6m 39s
    4. Reading files
      5m 35s
    5. Reading portions of files
      3m 27s
    6. Creating directories
      2m 40s
    7. Moving and renaming files and directories
      8m 32s
    8. Copying files and directories
      3m 7s
    9. Deleting files and directories
      3m 38s
    10. Finder aliases in Unix
      4m 10s
    11. Hard links
      5m 30s
    12. Symbolic links
      6m 36s
    13. Searching for files and directories
      6m 32s
  5. 34m 58s
    1. Who am I?
      4m 3s
    2. Unix groups
      1m 52s
    3. File and directory ownership
      6m 41s
    4. File and directory permissions
      4m 27s
    5. Setting permissions using alpha notation
      6m 49s
    6. Setting permissions using octal notation
      3m 49s
    7. The root user
      1m 57s
    8. sudo and sudoers
      5m 20s
  6. 52m 34s
    1. Command basics
      4m 4s
    2. The PATH variable
      4m 13s
    3. System information commands
      3m 40s
    4. Disk information commands
      6m 8s
    5. Viewing processes
      5m 0s
    6. Monitoring processes
      3m 36s
    7. Stopping processes
      3m 19s
    8. Text file helpers
      6m 50s
    9. Utility programs
      7m 28s
    10. Using the command history
      8m 16s
  7. 20m 39s
    1. Standard input and standard output
      1m 24s
    2. Directing output to a file
      4m 13s
    3. Appending to a file
      2m 44s
    4. Directing input from a file
      5m 28s
    5. Piping output to input
      4m 40s
    6. Suppressing output
      2m 10s
  8. 41m 28s
    1. Profile, login, and resource files
      9m 11s
    2. Setting command aliases
      6m 59s
    3. Setting and exporting environment variables
      4m 54s
    4. Setting the PATH variable
      6m 10s
    5. Configuring history with variables
      6m 17s
    6. Customizing the command prompt
      6m 5s
    7. Logout file
      1m 52s
  9. 1h 25m
    1. grep: Searching for matching expressions
      5m 21s
    2. grep: Multiple files, other input
      4m 28s
    3. grep: Coloring matched text
      2m 57s
    4. Introduction to regular expressions
      3m 22s
    5. Regular expressions: Basic syntax
      3m 19s
    6. Using regular expressions with grep
      5m 20s
    7. tr: Translating characters
      8m 17s
    8. tr: Deleting and squeezing characters
      5m 30s
    9. sed: Stream editor
      7m 45s
    10. sed: Regular expressions and back-references
      7m 8s
    11. cut: Cutting select text portions
      7m 42s
    12. diff: Comparing files
      4m 35s
    13. diff: Alternative formats
      4m 30s
    14. xargs: Passing argument lists to commands
      7m 25s
    15. xargs: Usage examples
      7m 59s
  10. 42m 25s
    1. Finder integration
      4m 45s
    2. Clipboard integration
      5m 5s
    3. Screen capture
      3m 42s
    4. Shut down, reboot, and sleep
      3m 34s
    5. Text to speech
      2m 36s
    6. Spotlight integration: Searching metadata
      3m 41s
    7. Spotlight integration: Metadata attributes
      4m 24s
    8. Using AppleScript
      5m 23s
    9. System configurations: Viewing and setting
      5m 51s
    10. System configurations: Examples
      3m 24s
  11. 1m 26s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 26s

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