The Command Line Interface and a b2zipped tarball

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Flutterby, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Flutterby macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2010
    A good friend who has used Macs professionally for years has asked me to send him a big stack of HTML documents,
    and my instinct is to put them into a tarball, b2zip it, and send him that. I asked whether he could handle it,
    and he told me to send each document separately, uncompressed. Ugh. I use Linux, so I know you folks have an
    excellent OS that is BSD-based and can handle lots of bash commands I use. Accordingly I want to tell my friend
    how to do it all in one easy step from the CLI. He has no idea what I'm talking about, does not know how to get
    to the CLI, and did not even know Macs have them until I mentioned it to him.

    So could you kindly provide my friend with a no-assumptions, comprehensive, clear list of beginner's instructions
    that will tell him exactly what to do to? He needs to:

    1. Get into the CLI

    2. Locate the tarball he downloaded from Gmail

    3. Unzip it and open it

    4. Get out of the CLI and back into the GUI.

    I would deal with the tarball this way:

    $ tar xjvf ./texts.tar.bz2

    Could he use that command?

    I don't have any idea how to leave the graphic world on a Mac. My view is that fulfilling his request will be a
    real pain for me and a lot of work for him as well if I don't use a tarball, and he needs to learn something about
    the OS he's using. I'll be interested to see how Mac users do it, as well. Yes, I expect the job can be done in
    the GUI on a Mac, but as I say, I would like to expand his universe (and mine) just a bit. Dragging him out of
    the GUI won't hurt him, and the learning experience could give him a bit more respect for the power and
    flexibility of the OS he uses daily. TIA!
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Don't try to force your friend into the command line. Some people just will never be as comfortable there as you (and I) are, and in this case there's not much point to doing what you want him to do in Terminal.

    There's no need for your friend to have to use Terminal to open .bz2 tarballs. He can just double-click them in the GUI and OS X will unarchive them.

    But to answer your questions: yes the command you posted will work fine, and he can find the Terminal app in his Utilities folder (under /Applications). I'm sure you can explain to him how to cd into his Downloads folder. But honestly it would be quicker and require less instruction to just have him open the files from the GUI.
  3. Flutterby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2010
    I understand my friend's timidity when he considers venturing into unknown territory. I feel that exploring and learning are inherently beneficial. Your view is the reverse of mine, and I respect that. It's a matter of temperament and attitude, concerning which there can be no dispute.

    How do Mac users get to the CLI? Do you hold down Control and Alternate and hit one of the F keys? And how do you get back to the GUI?
  4. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Via 'Terminal', which is an OS X application to be found within the Utilities folder, which is within the Applications folder. It runs within the GUI.

    EDIT: Darth.Titan mentioned above.

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