5 nifty Terminal commands

5 nifty Terminal commands

Terminal

This application is in the Utilities folder, which is in the main Applications folder of OS X Mavericks. Simply hold down Shift, Command and U simultaneously in Finder desktop to open the Utilities folder.

Start Terminal by double clicking on it. While the sign ">" signifies the command prompt in MS-DOS, Terminal uses "$". Always type your text commands after the dollar sign, and press the Return key to execute the command.

Try out these text commands if you feel confident enough to go ahead. Even so, do read more about Unix operating system commands beforehand. As a precaution, always back up your digital documents.

Adding dashboard widgets to your desktop

Unlike Windows 7, OS X Mavericks does not like widgets on its desktop and keeps them in a separate Dashboard. But there is a workaround in Terminal.

Before you get to that, go to System Preferences >Mission Control. Uncheck "Show Dashboard as a space".

Next, enter the command text write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES in Terminal. Log out of your Mac and log back in.

Go to the Dashboard by pressing F12. Next, click and hold on the desired widget and press F12. If it does not show up on the desktop, type killall Dock in Terminal and your widgets should show up.

If you want to get rid of the widgets on your desktop, enter write com.apple.dashboard devmode NO. Next, enter killall Dock and your widgets will be gone.

Show hidden files

Should you be geeky enough that you simply must check out those hidden files, enter defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true followed by killall Dock.

If you change your mind, enter defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles false.

Enable single application mode

Not a multitasker and prefer to focus on one task at a time? Enable the single application mode in Terminal. This allows only one application to show up at any one time. You will not get multiple windows and applications cluttering your desktop.

To do so, enter defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool true, followed by killall Dock. To disable the single application mode, enter defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool false, followed by killall Dock.

Disable start-up chime

OS X starts up with a chime loud enough to wake up a neighbourhood. So if you don't want your lecturer to know you are starting up your computer instead of paying attention in class, you can permanently disable the chime. Enter sudo nvram

SystemAudioVolume= per cent80 to silence that irritating signal.

Prevent your Mac from sleeping

If you are downloading a large app or movie from iTunes or installing an application that takes a lot of time, avoid a disruption by stopping your Mac from sleeping.

To do so, type the humorously conceived command caffeinate. To disable the effects of caffeine, just press Control C.

If you want to keep your Mac from going to sleep for an hour, type caffeinate -u -t 3600. The "3600" represents 3,600 seconds. Change it according to your needs.

trevtan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
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