The Ultimate A-Z Index of Apple OS X/Linux command line commands

by James on December 2, 2011 · 0 comments

I’m forever trying to remember command line commands for Linux or Mac OS X. I picked up this list a while ago and keep around in a text file but decided to post it here so I can get to it whenever I don’t have my laptop with me. Some of the commands are bash built-in commands but most will work on either OS. Feel free to add to the list.

A
alias – Create an alias
alloc – List used and free memory
apropos – Search the whatis database for strings
awk – Find and Replace text within file(s)

B
basename – Convert a full pathname to just a filename
bash – Bourne-Again SHell
bg – Send to background
bind – Display readline key and function bindings
bless – Set volume bootability and startup disk options.
break – Exit from a For, While, Until or Select loop
builtin – Execute a shell builtin
bzip – Compress or decompress files

C
cal – Display a calendar
caller – Return the context of a subroutine call
case – Conditionally perform a command
cat – Concatenate and print (display) the contents of file(s)
cd – Change Directory
chflags – Change a file or folder’s flags
chgrp – Change group ownership
chmod – Change access permissions
chown – Change file owner and group
chroot – Run a command with a different root directory
cksum – Print CRC checksum and byte counts
clear – Clear terminal screen
cmp – Compare two files
comm – Compare two sorted files line by line
command – Run a command (not a function)
complete – Edit a command completion [word/pattern/list]
continue – Resume the next iteration of a loop
cp – Copy one or more files to another location
cron – Daemon to execute scheduled commands
crontab – Schedule a command to run at a later date/time
curl – Transfer data from or to a server
cut – Divide a file into several parts

D
date – Display or change the date & time
dc – Desk Calculator
dd – Data Dump – Convert and copy a file
declare – Declare variable & set attributes
defaults – Set preferences, show hidden files
df – Display free disk space
diff – Display the differences between two files
diff3 – Show differences among three files
dig – DNS lookup
dirname – Convert a full pathname to just a path
dirs – Display list of remembered directories
diskutil – Disk utilities – Format, Verify, Repair
disown – Unbind a job from the current login session
ditto – Copy files and folders
dot_clean – Remove dot-underscore files
drutil – Interact with CD/DVD burners
dscacheutil – Query or flush the Directory Service/DNS cache
dseditgroup – Edit, create, manipulate, or delete groups
dsenableroot – Enable root access
dsmemberutil – View user and groups rights
dscl – Directory Service command line utility
du – Estimate file space usage

E
echo – Display message on screen
ed – A line-oriented text editor (edlin)
enable – Enable and disable builtin shell commands
env – List or Set environment variables
eval – Evaluate several commands/arguments
exec – Execute a command
exit – Exit the shell
expand – Convert tabs to spaces
expect – Programmed dialogue with interactive programs
export – Set an environment variable
expr – Evaluate expressions

F
false – Do nothing, unsuccessfully
fc – Fix command (history)
fdisk – Partition table manipulator for Darwin UFS/HFS/DOS
fg – Send job to foreground
file – Determine file type
find – Search for files that meet a desired criteria
fmt – Reformat paragraph text
fold – Wrap text to fit a specified width
for – Loop command
fsck – Filesystem consistency check and repair
fsaclctl – Filesystem enable/disable ACL support
fs_usage – Filesystem usage (process/pathname)
ftp – Internet file transfer program

G
GetFileInfo – Get attributes of HFS+ files
getopt – Parse positional parameters
getopts – Parse positional parameters
goto – Jump to label and continue execution
grep – Search file(s) for lines that match a given pattern
groups – Print group names a user is in
gzip – Compress or decompress files

H
halt – Stop and restart the operating system
hash – Refresh the cached/remembered location of commands
head – Display the first lines of a file
hdiutil – Manipulate iso disk images
history – Command History
hostname – Print or set system name

I
iconv – Convert the character set of a file
id – Print user and group names/id’s
if – Conditionally perform a command
info – Help info
install – Copy files and set attributes

J
jobs – List active jobs
join – Join lines on a common field

K
kextfind – List kernel extensions
kickstart – Configure Apple Remote Desktop
kill – Stop a process from running

L
l – List files in long format (ls -l)
last – Indicate last logins of users and ttys
launchctl – Load or unload daemons/agents
ll – List files in long format, showing invisible files (ls -la)
less – Display output one screen at a time
let – Evaluate expression
lipo – Convert a universal binary
ln – Make links between files (hard links, symbolic links)
local – Set a local (function) variable
locate – Find files
logname – Print current login name
login – log into the computer
logout – Exit a login shell (bye)
lpr – Print files
lprm – Remove jobs from the print queue
lpstat – Printer status information
ls – List information about file(s)
lsregister – Reset the Launch Services database
lsbom – List a bill of materials file
lsof – List open files

M
man – Help manual
mdfind – Spotlight search
mdutil – Manage Spotlight metadata store
mkdir – Create new folder(s)
mkfifo – Make FIFOs (named pipes)
more – Display output one screen at a time
mount – Mount a file system
mv – Move or rename files or directories

N
net – Manage network resources
netstat – Show network status
networksetup – Network and System Preferences
nice – Set the priority of a command
nohup – Run a command immune to hangups
ntfs.util – NTFS file system utility

O
onintr – Control the action of a shell interrupt
open – Open a file/folder/URL/Application
opensnoop – Snoop file opens as they occur
osacompile – Compile Applescript
osascript – Execute AppleScript

P
passwd – Modify a user password
paste – Merge lines of files
pbcopy – Copy data to the clipboard
pbpaste – Paste data from the Clipboard
pico – Simple text editor
ping – Test a network connection
pkgutil – Query and manipulate installed packages
plutil – Property list utility
pmset – Power Management settings
popd – Restore the previous value of the current directory
pr – Convert text files for printing
printenv – List environment variables
printf – Format and print data
ps – Process status
pushd – Save and then change the current directory
pwd – Print Working Directory

Q
quota – Display disk usage and limits

R
rcp – Copy files between machines
read – Read one line from standard input
readonly – Mark a variable or function as read-only
reboot – Stop and restart the system
return – Exit a function
rev – Reverse lines of a file
rm – Remove files
rmdir – Remove folder(s)
rpm – Remote Package Manager
rsync – Remote file copy – Sync file tree (also RsyncX)

S
say – Convert text to audible speech
screen – Multiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
screencapture – Capture screen image to file or disk
sdiff – Merge two files interactively
security – Administer Keychains, keys, certificates and the Security framework
sed – Stream Editor
select – Generate a list of items
set – Set a shell variable = value
setfile – Set attributes of HFS+ files
shift – Shift positional parameters
shopt – Set shell options
shutdown – Shutdown or restart OS X
sips – Scriptable image processing system
sleep – Delay for a specified time
softwareupdate – System software update tool
sort – Sort text files
source – Execute commands from a file
split – Split a file into fixed-size pieces
stop – Stop a job or process
su – Substitute user identity
sudo – Execute a command as another user
sum – Print a checksum for a file
suspend – Suspend execution of this shell
sw_vers – Print Mac OS X operating system version
system_profiler – Report system configuration
systemsetup – Computer and display system settings

T
tail – Output the last part of files
tar – Tape ARchiver
tee – Redirect output to multiple files
test – Condition evaluation
textutil – Manipulate text files in various formats (Doc,html,rtf)
time – Measure Program Resource Use
times – Print shell & shell process times
top – Display process information
touch – Change file timestamps
tr – Translate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
trap – Execute a command when the shell receives a signal
traceroute – Trace Route to Host
true – Do nothing, successfully
tty – Print filename of terminal on stdin
type – Describe a command

U
ufs.util – Mount/unmount UFS file system
ulimit – limit the use of system-wide resources
umask – Users file creation mask
umount – Unmount a device
unalias – Remove an alias
uname – Print system information
unexpand – Convert spaces to tabs
uniq – Uniquify files
units – Convert units from one scale to another
unset – Remove variable or function names
until – Loop command
uptime – Show how long system has been running
users – Print login names of users currently logged in
uuencode – Encode a binary file
uudecode – Decode a file created by uuencode
uuidgen – Generate a Unique ID (UUID/GUID)
uucp – Unix to Unix copy

V
vi – Text Editor

W
wait – Wait for a process to complete
wc – Print byte, word, and line counts
whatis – Search the whatis database for complete words
where – Report all known instances of a command
which – Locate a program file in the user’s path
while – Loop command
who – Print all usernames currently logged on
whoami – Print the current user id and name
write – Send a message to another user

X
xargs – Execute utility – passing arguments

Y
yes – Print a string until interrupted

!! – Run the last command again

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