Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
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.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member