How to open Terminal on Mac

If you have Node.

Work with Terminal windows and tabs

If a command is specified, its first token will be used as the new tab's title. Sample invocations: Get command-line help. Source code paste into your bash profile, for instance: Opens a new tab in the current Terminal window and optionally executes a command. Quoted parameters are handled properly.

Use 'exit' as the last command to automatically close the tab when the command terminates; precede it with 'read -s -n 1' to wait for a keystroke first. Unrecognized option: To force interpretation as non-option, precede with '--'. Use -h or --h for help. Commands for opening a new tab in the current Terminal window. Sadly, there is no direct way to open a new tab in an existing window, so we must activate Terminal first, then send a keyboard shortcut.

Use the command's first token as the tab title. Step 1: Escape all backslashes again by doubling them , because AppleScript expects that. Sadly, because we must create a new tab by sending a keystroke to Terminal, we must briefly activate it, then reactivate the previously active application. Even though we do not strictly need to activate Terminal first, we do it, as assigning the custom title to the 'front window' would otherwise sometimes target the wrong window.

Even though we do not strictly need to activate Terminal first, we do it so as to better visualize what is happening the new window will appear stacked on top of an existing one. Thanks for posting this. Felt like 1 upvote wasn't enough. I just updated the post with a caveat re working folders and also updated the code: Note that when creating a new tab this way, Terminal still has to be activated briefly before the previously active application is reactivated.

Leonardo The new tab has the same working directory as the tab from which the function was invoked. Changing to a different folder inside a script before calling newtab , unfortunately, does NOT work. The workaround is to pass an eval statement with a cd command to newtab ; e.

Double-quote the entire command passed to eval , and use backslash-escaping inside. Per your suggestion I've switched the functions signatures to function newtab and function newwin however, NO parentheses , so that should avoid the collision with aliases when defining the functions, but note that on invocation an alias of the same name takes precedence to bypass the alias, ad-hoc, quote any part of the function name, e.

Here's what I learned: Not typically a concern, since in normally invoked scripts alias expansion is turned OFF by default. Very helpful. Using this in my. Szymon Morawski Szymon Morawski 5 This worked but the new tab was created in a separate instance of Terminal. Is there anyway the new tab remains in the current instance of my Terminal? By the way, you can use do script "" with an empty string to create a new terminal without issuing a command. CharlesB CharlesB It looks very interesting. What's the difference between zcsh and conventional bash?

They are very similar, but most interestingly it has intelligent, powerful tab completion and auto-correction. See good comparison here. Took a quick look at CharlesB's comparison link. Very interesting.

Mac OS X For Unix Geeks, 4th Edition by Brian Jepson, Rich Rosen, Ernest E. Rothman

Sounds almost like BPython shell versus iPython shell. You can change the default shell in the Terminal Preferences, but this change applies only to Terminal i. The predefined settings are listed in the left subwindow of the Settings pane, and the options associated with each setting are accessible via a set of tabs in the right subwindow. The options are organized into five categories: Text, Window, Shell, Keyboard, and Advanced. Enable and disable attributes such as antialiasing, bold fonts, blinking text, American National Standards Institute ANSI colors, and bright colors for bold text.

Select a cursor style and color, and turn blinking on or off. Specify your own window title and indicate whether to include in that title the active process name, shell command name, setting name, tty name, dimensions, and command key. Set the color and opacity no background image. Window size: Set the number of rows and columns. Set the size of the scrollback buffer the number of rows of previous input and output you can scroll upwards to review.

Choose a command to run on startup for example, an alternate shell.


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When the shell exits: Specify an action to take when the shell exits e. Prompt before closing: Indicate when to prompt when closing a Terminal window. Declare your terminal i. Beginning in Leopard, the Option-click behavior is the default behavior. There are situations in which you will want to routinely have several Terminal windows and tabs open, each having its own process and attributes.

For example, you might be editing a file with vim in one window and running octave in another, with both windows having black backgrounds and white text. When defining a setting, be sure to specify the commands, if any, that must run when a window or tab opens with that particular setting. Next, open the Terminal windows and tabs that will go into the window group to make sure that the settings work properly. This selection will give you the opportunity to enter a name for the new window group and decide if the window group should open by default whenever the Terminal application starts.


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  • In the Window Group preference pane, you can delete window groups, export window groups as. You can customize the Terminal in shell scripts using escape sequences or AppleScript commands. The BEL character rings the Terminal bell, but in this context, it terminates an escape sequence. The escape sequences described here are ANSI escape sequences. ANSI escape sequences are used to manipulate a Terminal window such as by moving the cursor or setting the title.

    You can capture the bash escape sequence in a function that you can include in your. You can also use osascript to execute AppleScript commands that accomplish the same thing:. If you want to save your customizations, the procedure to follow depends on whether you are running Mac OS X In pre-Leopard Mac OS X releases, you can launch a customized Terminal window from the command line by saving some prototypical Terminal settings to a. You can also launch a. To create a. Alternatively, you can launch such a Terminal window from the command line by issuing a command like one of the following depending on where you saved proto.

    You can configure the window so that it executes a command upon opening by adding an execution string to the. When you launch the Terminal window, this string is echoed to standard output before it is executed. In Leopard, the closest thing to. Settings can be exported as or imported from. Terminal 2. The right portion of the Settings window shows the options associated with the currently selected setting.

    You can also export your new setting as a.


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    • This is done as follows. In the Settings window, select the setting to be exported e. You can save the. Although double-clicking a. Every time you launch a given. The primary purpose of a. This means that. You can import a. Although Unix supports complex file and directory names containing spaces, Unix users have traditionally avoided using spaces in file and directory names. Instead, they may use capitalization or hyphens or underscores to imply spaces, as follows:. However, most Mac users tend to insert spaces into file and directory names, and these names are often long and descriptive.

      Unix shells will interpret a string containing embedded spaces as separate command-line arguments. A command such as the following, for example, would fail because the shell would interpret the string as separate arguments:. To get around this, you have two choices: By default, files whose names begin with a dot are invisible in the Finder. You can make files named with a leading dot visible in the Finder by entering the command defaults write com.

      Edit a command line

      This also works with other special characters, such as parentheses. The following special characters have meaning to the shell and so must be escaped: Here is an example of how to use a backslash to escape a space character in a file or directory name:. Alternatively, you can use quotation marks around the file or directory name that contains the space, as follows: There is one other way to get around this problem, but it involves using the Finder in combination with the Terminal application.

      To launch Microsoft Word from the Terminal, you could enter the path as follows, using escape characters:. As you can see, neither method is very pretty, and both require you to know a lot of detail about the path. Now for the easy way:. Type the name of the command and any initial arguments it requires on the command line in this case, open -a , followed by a space. Locate Microsoft Word in the Finder, and drag its icon to the Terminal window to insert the path after the space.

      When you do this, the spaces and any other special characters in the path will automatically be escaped with backslashes:. You can also drag and drop URLs from a web browser. For example, to use curl to download files from the command line:. Open a new Terminal window and type curl -O , with a space after the -O switch. Bring up your web browser and navigate to http: Drag the image at the top of the page to the Terminal window. You should now see the following in the Terminal window:.

      If you want to type a long pathname, you can cut down on the number of keystrokes required by using tab completion. Early versions of Mac OS X shipped with tcsh as the default shell. You can change the default shell for Terminal in its Preferences menu, but this does not affect the login shell used for remote or console logins. In the case of the Terminal, the services operate on text that you have selected the pasteboard. To use a service, select a region of text in the Terminal window and choose one of the following items from the Services menu:.

      This service can be used to convert selected text to either simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese. This service opens the URL specified by the selected text in your default web browser. This service gets the result of an AppleScript after running the highlighted text as an AppleScript , makes a new AppleScript in the Script Editor , or runs the selected text as an AppleScript without returning the result.

      Your Answer

      This service searches for the selected text using http: This service displays a dialog that lets you choose a file to send to a Bluetooth device. This service begins speaking the selected text. Mac OS X provides command-line utilities for working with Spotlight. This service condenses the selected text into a summary document. The summary service analyzes English text and makes it as concise as possible while retaining the original meaning. The TextEdit service can open a filename, or open a new file containing the selected text.

      As far as the service is concerned, you are invoking it on a string of text. Bonjour http: It is based on a standard called ZeroConf http: Like many Mac OS X applications e. If you have computers with other operating systems on your network, they may be able to take advantage of Bonjour, too. Apple makes a Bonjour for Windows available at http: As noted earlier, other Aqua-native terminal applications are available; the freeware iTerm http: Sathyam, is a particularly attractive one.

      Before getting into what makes iTerm distinct, here are some similarities between iTerm and Terminal:. Both iTerm and Terminal support transparency, language encodings, and AppleScript, and both have contextual menus that can be accessed by Control-clicking or right-clicking, if you have a two- or three-button mouse in a window. Particularly interesting features of iTerm include support for multiple tabbed terminal sessions within each window, support for background images, profiles that allow you to open new iTerm sessions with preset terminal settings, and bookmarks for launching iTerm windows or tabs that automatically execute commands.

      Introduction to the Mac OS X Command Line - Treehouse Blog

      Tabs in iTerm can be dragged to new windows, and one iTerm window can be dragged onto another to form a new tab. The effect of dragging and dropping windows and tabs in iTerm is no different from the same set of actions in Terminal. Bookmarks are used to define iTerm sessions with preset terminal settings. For example, you can define the color or typeface to use for text as well as a command to execute upon opening a new tab or window with a given bookmark.

      Aside from the command that a bookmark will execute, other attributes must be selected from predefined profiles. There are three types of profiles in iTerm: Keyboard, Terminal, and Display profiles. Click the Add button at the bottom left of the Profiles window to add a new profile in any of the three categories. While a profile determines certain attributes of an iTerm window or tab , bookmarks are used to open windows and tabs with those attributes.

      A bookmark may also be defined to execute commands within a window or tab. The default bookmarks are Default, which specifies the default login shell, and Bonjour, which includes ssh and sftp connections to SSH- and Bonjour-enabled computers on the LAN. Then, click the plus sign in the bottom-left corner of the Bookmarks window to add a new bookmark. If no iTerm window is open, the bookmark will open in a new iTerm window; otherwise, the bookmark will open in the frontmost iTerm window. In this case, the set of bookmarks associated with the group will open as tabs within the same iTerm window.

      If at least one iTerm window is already open, the group will open as tabs in the frontmost window, adding to whatever tabs are already present in that window. The effect of an iTerm bookmark group is similar to that of a window group in Terminal, but Terminal window groups are not restricted to opening as tabs in the same window. New Tab allows you to choose a session from the bookmarks , Select selects a tab from the current window , Browser opens the selected URL in your default web browser , Mail opens a compose mail window with the selected email address as the recipient , Copy, Paste, Save, Select All, Clear Buffer, Info, and Close.

      The one feature that could tip the scale in favor of iTerm is its support of background images in iTerm windows, assuming that this feature is of paramount importance to you. Terminator http: