Terminal question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hoodgyno, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. hoodgyno macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #1
    Hello all. First off I'm newly changed over to Mac. I have a question, what is Terminal? I have some downloads that instructs me to enter some code lines in terminal, is it safe to do so, or am I risking my computer's performance by fiddling around in Terminal?
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    What are you trying to accomplish and what are the commands? You could be doing something benign or something very dangerous. We can't tell unless we know what you are doing.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Terminal is like the MS-DOS prompt in Windows, only much more powerful ... like grapes911 said, it can be dangerous to the computer.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    If you don't know what you're doing, absolutely! Messing around with Terminal is a good way to turn your computer into a paperweight.
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #5
    I don't know if I'd go that far. There isn't much you could do with Terminal, if anything, that couldn't be fixed by reinstalling the OS. If there is something I'm missing, please correct me.
     
  6. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #6
    You're mostly correct. However, there are several command-line utilities that could really ruin your day if you don't know what you're doing. hdparm being one.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    The terminal command line uses Unix commands, which give you lots of power, but also gives you plenty of power to create a terrible mess. There are plenty of threads from people who used command lines to do what they thought was something quite simple and wound up with a system that would not boot.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    I'm saying that if you don't know what you're doing, you could render you computer a paperweight. I didn't say it would be permanent or that you couldn't recover by reinstalling the OS.
     

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