MacBook Terminal Commands

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Welcome to the ultimate guide on MacBook Terminal commands! Whether you’re a seasoned Mac user or a beginner, mastering these commands can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency. In this blog, we will cover over 25 essential commands and provide step-by-step instructions to ensure you can use them effectively. Let’s dive in!

Why Use MacBook Terminal Commands?

Using commands on your MacBook can save you time, simplify complex tasks, and give you more control over your system. By learning and utilizing these commands, you can streamline your workflow and become a more efficient user.

Basic Commands

Open Terminal

To use commands, you need to open the Terminal application. You can do this by:

  1. Pressing Command + Space to open Spotlight Search.
  2. Typing “Terminal” and pressing Enter.

Check macOS Version


Use this command to display your macOS version and build information.

List Files and Directories


This command lists the files and directories in your current directory.

Change Directory

cd [directory]

Navigate to a different directory by replacing [directory] with the path to your desired folder.

Clear Terminal Screen


Clear the Terminal screen for a fresh view.

Get Help with Commands

man [command]

Displays the manual page for a command, providing detailed information and usage examples.

File Management Commands

Create a New Directory

mkdir [directory-name]

Create a new directory by replacing [directory-name] with your desired folder name.

Remove a Directory

rmdir [directory-name]

Remove an empty directory with this command.

Copy Files

cp [source] [destination]

Copy files from one location to another by specifying the source and destination paths.

Move Files

mv [source] [destination]

Move files from one location to another.

Delete Files

rm [file-name]

Delete files by specifying the file name.

Rename Files

mv [old-name] [new-name]

Rename files by replacing [old-name] with the current name and [new-name] with the new name.

Search for Files

find [directory] -name [file-name]

Search for files by name in a specified directory.

Display File Content

cat [file-name]

Display the content of a file.

Edit Files

nano [file-name]

Edit files directly in the Terminal using the nano text editor.

System Management Commands

View Disk Usage

df -h

Check how much disk space is being used and how much is available.

Monitor System Processes


Monitor system processes and resource usage in real time.

View Free Memory


Check your Mac’s memory usage.

Shutdown or Restart

  • Shutdown:
    bash sudo shutdown -h now
  • Restart:
    bash sudo shutdown -r now

Show System Information


Display detailed information about your Mac’s hardware and software.

Check Battery Status

pmset -g batt

Check the current battery status and charge level.

Show Disk Usage of Directories

du -sh [directory]

Show the size of a directory and its contents.

Networking Commands

View Network Configuration


Display your network configuration details.

Ping a Host

ping [hostname]

Check the network connection to a host by replacing [hostname] with the target address.

Check Open Ports

netstat -an

View all open network ports and connections.


traceroute [hostname]

Trace the route packets take to a network host.

Display Network Statistics


Show detailed network statistics and activity.

Display Active Network Connections

lsof -i

Show a list of active network connections.

Troubleshooting Commands

View System Logs

log show

Display system logs to troubleshoot issues.

Repair Disk Permissions

diskutil repairPermissions [disk]

Repair disk permissions to resolve permission issues (note: this command is deprecated in newer macOS versions).

Check Disk for Errors

diskutil verifyDisk [disk]

Verify the disk for errors and potential issues.

Force Quit an Application

killall [application-name]

Force quit an unresponsive application by specifying its name.

Flush DNS Cache

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Clear the DNS cache to resolve network-related issues.

Reset Network Settings

sudo ifconfig en0 down; sudo ifconfig en0 up

Reset network settings for a network interface.


Mastering MacBook Terminal commands can significantly enhance your productivity and system management skills. By incorporating these commands into your daily routine, you can perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. Share this guide with fellow Mac users to help them boost their productivity.

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