Terminal commands

Updated on Feb 8th, 2019


Useful commands for working in the terminal. Some of the commands are specific to macOS.

Keyboard shortcuts

Various keyboard shortcuts for working with the command line prompt.

Ctrl + a - go to beginning of the line

Ctrl + c - cancel the command

Ctrl + e - go to end of the line

Ctrl + u - clear up to the beginning

General commands

My preferred permissions for folders and files.

chmod 755   # folder permissions
chmod 644   # file permissions

Copy all the files in a folder into another folder.

cp -R folderA/. folderB

List the contents of a folder or of a specified folder.

ls
ls folderA/

Rename a file or folder.

mv oldname.txt newname.txt
mv oldfolder/ newfolder/

Remove a folder that already contains files.

rm -rf folderA/

Move all files from one folder to another folder. Example below demonstrates moving all the files from the Downloads folder to the Videos folder.

mv ~/Downloads/* ~/Videos

Commands specific to macOS

Open a file from the macOS terminal.

open fileA.txt            # open a file in its default application
open -a safari fileA.txt  # opens with the specified application
open -R fileA.txt         # selects the file in a Finder window

Mount and unmount a volume on a Mac.

hdiutil attach Secure.dmg       # mount a dmg volume named "Secure.dmg"
hdiutil detach /Volumes/Secure  # unmount a volume named "Secure"

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