Unix man pages are written for an audience of experienced programmers, not for novice users, so to understand Unix man pages, you need to understand the conventions used in them. Mac OS X comes with almost Unix man pages.
Some of these pages come from Apple itself, and some come from the software that Apple acquired when it bought NeXT. As of this writing summer , Apple has made progress updating the man pages to be Darwin specific, but the job is not yet done.
Fortunately, most of the man pages do not require updating; unfortunately, there is no easy way to know which ones do require it. Command-line programs almost always provide a minimal level of built-in help—usually just enough to show you the options and arguments the command expects. Still, that is often enough to remind you of the proper way to use the command. Help from other people is the most valuable kind, and it's available from a variety of sources.
At the end of this chapter is a list of the best places to look.
Every Unix command is supposed to have an associated man page that describes the command and the options available for using it. You read man pages using the man command. Unix man pages are arranged into eight or nine sections, depending on which flavor of Unix you are using. Mac OS X uses the nine sections shown in Table 3.
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Commands actually functions provided by the operating system for use in programming, mostly in the C language, such as getlogin and setuid. Tools for programmers that are available in a variety of languages C, Perl, Tcl, and others , such as opendir and Text::Soundex. More-advanced tools for programmers, mostly in the C language, such as stdout and urandom. Man pages for the most important system-configuration files, describing their use for system administration, such as appletalk. This covers games, but Mac OS X comes with only one command-line game, banner.
If you have a printer connected, try banner -w 80 "Unix" lp.
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Character-set definitions; file types; filesystem information, such as hier , which shows the filesystem hierarchy; and ascii , which describes the ASCII character set. While all the commands we'll discuss will work just fine in the built-in Terminal. Mostly because it supports tabbed sessions, which lets you run several tasks in various tabs without taking up screen real estate. Download iTerm here free. We've already posted a series of beginner's guides to the command line for Windows users running the Unix emulator Cygwin.
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So instead of traversing ground we've already covered, hit up our past tutorials instead and ignore all the Cygwin-specific stuff :. While almost the entire recipe box of established Unix commands work on OS X, there are also a few Mac-specific command line tools that hook into Spotlight, access your iPod and other external disks, launch Mac graphical applications and install more open source applications.
Let's take a look. The open command can open up a certain file in its associated application like open lifehacker.
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To open a document, you've got to be in the directory where that document lives; to launch an application, use the -a option to tell Mac OS X to look in the Applications folder. For example, open -a ichat will launch iChat no matter what directory you're in. Now that you know how to navigate folders and subfolders and file listings, you may want to use your new command line knowledge to check out external disks connected to your Mac, like your iPod.
Then a quick ls will list the available drives. Write a Review. Related Searches. App Inventor 2.
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