Mastering the Command Line Interface (CLI) on Mac: A Beginner’s Guide

Do you find yourself constantly switching between the mouse and keyboard while using your Mac? Are you looking to increase your productivity and efficiency by mastering the Command Line Interface (CLI)? If so, you have come to the right place! In this guide, we will walk you through the basics of using CLI apps on your Mac, including how to navigate the CLI, install packages, and customize your terminal.

Getting Started: Navigating the CLI

Before we dive into more advanced CLI commands, it is essential to understand how to navigate the terminal. Here are some basic commands to get you started:

Directory Navigation

  • cd – Change to a directory
  • ls – List contents of a directory
  • ls -a – List all contents, including hidden files
  • pwd – Print current working directory

For example, to navigate to your Documents directory, you would type cd Documents in the terminal. To list all contents of that directory, you would type ls.

File Management

  • touch – Create a new file
  • mkdir – Create a new directory
  • rm – Delete a file or directory
  • rm -r – Delete a directory and its contents

To create a new file called “example.txt” in your Documents directory, you would type touch Documents/example.txt. To delete that file, you would type rm Documents/example.txt.

Installing and Managing Packages with Homebrew

Homebrew is a popular package manager for macOS that allows you to easily install, update, and manage command-line tools and applications. Here is how to get started with Homebrew:

Installing Homebrew

To install Homebrew, open the terminal and enter the following command:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

This will download and install Homebrew onto your system.

Installing an Application with Homebrew

To install an application using Homebrew, use the following syntax:

brew install [application name]

For example, to install the popular text editor “nano,” you would enter the following command: brew install nano

Upgrading and Managing Packages with Homebrew

To upgrade all packages installed with Homebrew, you can enter the following command:

brew update && brew upgrade

To uninstall a package, simply enter brew uninstall [application name].

Customizing Your Terminal

The default terminal on macOS may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fear not, as there are various ways to customize it to your liking. Here are a few common customizations:

Changing the Terminal Theme

To change the terminal theme, open Terminal and go to “Preferences” through the menu. From there, select “Profiles” and choose the profile you want to customize. Click on “Colors” and choose the theme you want to use.

Add a Custom Prompt

You can customize your terminal prompt to show information such as your current directory or git branch. To do this, you will need to edit the Bash profile.

Open Terminal and enter the following command to edit the profile:

nano ~/.bash_profile

From there, you can add various commands to customize your prompt. For example, to include the current directory in your prompt, add the following line:

export PS1="W$ "

Concluding Thoughts on Using CLI Apps on Mac

While using the Command Line Interface may seem intimidating at first, it can greatly increase your productivity and efficiency once you get the hang of it. By mastering the basics of CLI navigation, package management with Homebrew, and terminal customization, you will be able to take your Mac usage to the next level.

FAQs about Using CLI Apps on Mac

What are some essential CLI commands to know on a Mac?

Some essential CLI commands include: cd for navigating directories, ls for listing files and directories, and touch and mkdir for creating files and directories.

How do I open the terminal on a Mac?

To open the terminal on a Mac, go to “Finder” and then “Applications.” From there, select “Utilities” and then “Terminal.”

What is Homebrew, and why should I use it?

Homebrew is a popular package manager for macOS that allows you to easily install, update, and manage command-line tools and applications. You should use it because it simplifies the installation and management of packages, making it easy to keep your tools up-to-date.



Related articles

The Ultimate Guide to Blox Fruits Codes – Money and XP Boosts

Blox Fruits is an immersive game that lets you...

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing iPad Mini Not Charging Issue

The iPad Mini is a great device that's perfect...

iPad Frozen Not Responding? Here’s How to Fix It!

Are you one of the many users who have...

How to Watch Movies from an External Drive on Your iPad with iPadOS

Are you tired of constantly transferring movies from your...

What to Do When Your Airpods Accidentally Go through the Wash

Have you ever carelessly tossed your clothes into the...
Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here