What is Terminal ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by redchannel, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. redchannel macrumors regular

    redchannel

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    #1
    What is terminal used for ? Can i use to to do cool things ? Is it like the equivalent to the run menu in windows ?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Terminal is the equivalent of the command prompt in Windows. There's very little you can't do in Terminal, including royally muck up your computer. If you're interested in learning how to use it, I suggest getting a basic UNIX book.
     
  3. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #3
    No, it's the equivalent of the command line on Windows. It's a terminal emulator, aka a window in a graphical user interface that let's you work through a more classic text interface without leaving the GUI. OS X is built on a form of UNIX, so there are a lot of cool tricks you can do form here.


    http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/unixintro.html

    There's a good intro to the *nix terminal in general. Once you get your footing and get a feel for how the different commands work and how to read the documentation, check out the man pages for "pmset" and "defaults", which are two of my personal favorites.
     
  4. detz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #4
    If you have to ask you should never need it.
     
  5. louiek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    #5
    I couldn't disagree more. A simple example is Spotlight. Yeah, it's nice and quick and pretty, but if you have files that somehow got tagged as system files (as my nds roms did) then a simple 'find' command will show you what spotlight can't(won't) see. The OsX GUI is great, but you really get to see how much power is under the hood when you overcome your fear of the terminal.
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #6
    i agree in that if you know unix, you dont ask, if you dont, then the gui is fine

    like asking if you need a mac pro....you will know if you do
     
  7. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Terminal:
    • electronic equipment consisting of a device providing access to a computer; has a keyboard and display
    • causing or ending in or approaching death; "a terminal patient"; "terminal cancer"
    Couldn't resist. Others have already covered it pretty well. As Ben Parker said, "With great power comes great responsibility," and that certainly goes for Terminal.
     
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    I love that application of that particular quote!;)

    A definition of Terminal as a software tool might be "Software in the Utilities folder of your Mac that has the unique ability to make you regret your earlier decision to spend the money you had set aside for a backup drive on beer and snacks instead.";)
     
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #9
    Or: You know all that cool stuff you always see people do in computer hacker movies and TV shows, like 24? They're always typing like mad, never touching a mouse? That's probably a Terminal window... :D
     
  10. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  11. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #11
    Fixed that for ya . ;)
     

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