How to Update macOS Using a Simple Terminal Command

npmacuser5

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
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man softwareupdate

...that will give you the options, one of which is ignore.
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Terrible point. A good OS needs a GUI and a terminal. That's why when Mac OS X first came out it was awesome compared to its contemporaries in the desktop computing market. Many a Linux geek I knew at the time (2001) went, "This is what Linux should be like!"
Where is the terminal in IOS? A very good OS, in fact same under the hood OS as Mac OS. Seems millions of IOS systems are lacking the terminal function. I have been using my many IOS devices for almost ten years, now you tell me I need a terminal. :(
 

winglet69

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
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London, UK
5 years ago I installed Apple update without any additional work, the day they were released. Not any more. Apple has, by its actions, lost my trust. Today I won't install any update until after its been out for weeks, if not longer. IMO Apple's main thrust these days is publicity, not performance and reliability and I am not willing to let their lack of ability effect my income.
Couldn't agree more. Used to update the moment one was released. But I'm sick of being Apple's beta tester and now I only update after several point releases, with far more extensive backup precautions taken than were ever required* previously.

It's getting closer to the point of "use the current version until the hardware that runs it dies and then look for non-Apple alternatives" thinking.

Sad, really how far their quality control has fallen. It doesn't matter to the buy-a-new-iToy-every-year crowd, but for some of us quality does matter.

*by "required" I don't mean that one shouldn't always backup before updating, I mean in the past I never actually had to call on the backup to fix some random aberrant behaviour or randomly missing function.
 
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nt5672

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Jun 30, 2007
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Where is the terminal in IOS? A very good OS, in fact same under the hood OS as Mac OS. Seems millions of IOS systems are lacking the terminal function. I have been using my many IOS devices for almost ten years, now you tell me I need a terminal. :(
Nope not at all. If you have the same usage pattern as that of Apple's target demographic, then nope you don't need it. Today Apple's target demographic is teenagers, interested in pop events, pop music, like to snapchat, tweet, take selfies, don't care what is shared with Google, and want to be limited to what Apple deems appropriate, etc. These activities of the common Apple users absolutely do not require using the terminal.

But in years past, Apple had a number of profession tech users that used the platform because it was, hands down, the best linux platform around. One could use the GUI for general things and when you needed more, the command line was right there. I've used it in SAP, SQL-Server, Oracle, etc. development/tech environments. Unfortunately, Apple has customized the underlaying OS and failed to update the core OS components to the extent that Apple's macOS is not easily usable off the shelf anymore.

We can and must install our own tools through MacPorts or Homebrew. Apple is trying to push macOS to be all sandboxed, which will disallow even that. iOS is already sandboxed. I would love to be able to use linux command line tools from an iPad or iPhone for network/database/server troubleshooting, but alas no, Apple deems it inappropriate.

So yes, for your limited use of iOS it works and I'm happy your happy. But a lot of people, obviously less that the pop teenager crowd, are not happy. That does not make us uninformed or wrong.
 
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PinkyMacGodess

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Mar 7, 2007
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Midwest America.
Nope not at all. If you have the same usage pattern as that of Apple's target demographic, then nope you don't need it. Today Apple's target demographic is teenagers, interested in pop events, pop music, like to snapchat, tweet, take selfies, don't care what is shared with Google, and want to be limited to what Apple deems appropriate, etc. These activities of the common Apple users absolutely do not require using the terminal.

But in years past, Apple had a number of profession tech users that used the platform because it was, hands down, the best linux platform around. One could use the GUI for general things and when you needed more, the command line was right there. I've used it in SAP, SQL-Server, Oracle, etc. development/tech environments. Unfortunately, Apple has customized the underlaying OS and failed to update the core OS components to the extent that Apple's macOS is not easily usable off the shelf anymore.

We can and must install our own tools through MacPorts or Homebrew. Apple is trying to push macOS to be all sandboxed, which will disallow even that. iOS is already sandboxed. I would love to be able to use linux command line tools from an iPad or iPhone for network/database/server troubleshooting, but alas no, Apple deems it inappropriate.

So yes, for your limited use of iOS it works and I'm happy your happy. But a lot of people, obviously less that the pop teenager crowd, are not happy. That does not make us uninformed or wrong.
This is why I wonder how long Apple will fight the jailbreak segment of their market draw. I doubt that it will just go away, and I'm waiting for their 'sandbox' treatment to kill usability on the devices all because their paranoia of jail breaking collided with their devices usability. I do really get the idea of sandboxing, and the need for protection from 'evil', but in many ways they have gone beyond reasonable. I do believe there is a command line for iOS. I've seen it running at the Genius Bar. Making it so hard to get to is just being paranoid. But given my experiences with the early Windows phone OS and friends with early droids, I also value that fact that I haven't had iOS puke all over my life like those earlier devices did. The drama of early Windows Phone was just inexcusable. It wasn't a phone, it was a torture device! But anyway...
 
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curtvaughan

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2016
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Austin, TX
Whenever I see articles regarding Terminal it reminds me of this story regarding # rm -rf *

http://www.lug.wsu.edu/node/414
The CLI is a double edged sword. The good thing about it is how flexible and powerful it can be with available commands; the bad thing about it, ditto. Entering "rm -rf *" basically means you want to recursively delete your whole file tree with no safeguards or warnings enabled (the "f" in the command). Your only safeguard is that you have to execute the command "su" or "sudo" to run as root in order to successfully get the command to override file protections. It's much less straightforward to accomplish this action using the GUI. If you meander through Disk Utility to try to accomplish a complete erasure you will have to jump through a lot of steps before the program will allow it. Complete erasure is greyed out by default for your boot disk.
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Nope not at all. If you have the same usage pattern as that of Apple's target demographic, then nope you don't need it. Today Apple's target demographic is teenagers, interested in pop events, pop music, like to snapchat, tweet, take selfies, don't care what is shared with Google, and want to be limited to what Apple deems appropriate, etc. These activities of the common Apple users absolutely do not require using the terminal.

But in years past, Apple had a number of profession tech users that used the platform because it was, hands down, the best linux platform around. One could use the GUI for general things and when you needed more, the command line was right there. I've used it in SAP, SQL-Server, Oracle, etc. development/tech environments. Unfortunately, Apple has customized the underlaying OS and failed to update the core OS components to the extent that Apple's macOS is not easily usable off the shelf anymore.

We can and must install our own tools through MacPorts or Homebrew. Apple is trying to push macOS to be all sandboxed, which will disallow even that. iOS is already sandboxed. I would love to be able to use linux command line tools from an iPad or iPhone for network/database/server troubleshooting, but alas no, Apple deems it inappropriate.

So yes, for your limited use of iOS it works and I'm happy your happy. But a lot of people, obviously less that the pop teenager crowd, are not happy. That does not make us uninformed or wrong.
I sadly agree with most of your post. There is "OpenTerm" CLI interface available in the App Store for iOS, but it is extremely limited in scope. Unlike Unix or Unix-like systems such as Linux (Macs run a flavor of BSD Unix), which were initially developed as CLI oriented systems prior to acquiring GUI graphical tools (the original being X-Windows), iOS is sandboxed by design and users are very limited as to what they can do at the "root" level. There is no CLI installed by default that I am aware of.
 

fraterx27

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
3
1
Actually kind of shocked at some of the replies here. The Terminal is your friend and mine looks Bling as Hell I have mine customized with Oh My ZSH, Neofetch, Powerline-Shell, I mange all my Mac Store apps with mas, I'm on facebook messenger with messr, I could go on but here's what mine looks like I took out my username and hostname for security purposes
 

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fraterx27

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
3
1
But I mean, why can't it do it like this in the background after the user clicks Update, instead of having the "installing" screen? Or am I interpreting this wrong... lol
You would write a script with all the update commands at some point everyday I have a chron job run "softwareupdate -ia" and "mas upgrade" "brew upgrade" and it will update all my Mac Store apps and system in the background so when I see apple dropped a update I just check my about section to see if it's installed.
 
I keep forgetting that there is a way to upgrade macOS from the Terminal. Thanks for reminding me!

In my case, I've enrolled in the Beta programme, which means lots of more updates... with a catch: currently, my Mac does not do an automatic reboot, for some strange reason; most of the times, I can reboot from the Terminal, but that will not start the update process... (aye, I have filed this issue with the Feedback Assistant)

I'd only wish that softwareupdate had some sort of progress bar...

(P. S. Old Unix geek here. Aye, I've been one of those saying 'This is what Linux should be like!' back in 2001... when I bought my first PowerBook G4!)