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Mac Terminal Cheat Sheet


Key/Command Description
Tab Auto-complete files and folder names
Ctrl + A Go to the beginning of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + E Go to the end of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + U Clear the line before the cursor
Ctrl + K Clear the line after the cursor
Ctrl + W Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + T Swap the last two characters before the cursor
Esc + T Swap the last two words before the cursor
Ctrl + R Lets you search through previously used commands
Ctrl + L or Command + K Clears the Screen
Ctrl + C Kill whatever you are running
Ctrl + D Exit the current shell


cd Home directory
cd [folder] Change directory
cd ~ Home directory, e.g. ‘cd ~/folder/’
cd / Root of drive
ls Short listing
ls -l Long listing
ls -a Listing incl. hidden files
ls -lh Long listing with Human readable file sizes
ls -R Entire content of folder recursively
sudo [command] Run command with the security privileges of the superuser (Super User DO)
open [file] Opens a file
open . Opens the directory
top Displays active processes. Press q to quit
nano [file] Opens the Terminal it’s editor
pico [file] Opens the Terminal it’s editor
q Exit
clear Clear screen


history n Shows the stuff typed – add a number to limit the last n items
ctrl-r Interactively search through previously typed commands
![value] Execute the last command typed that starts with ‘value’
!! Execute the last command typed


touch [file] Create new file
pwd Full path to working directory
.. Parent/enclosing directory, e.g.
ls -l .. Long listing of parent directory
cd ../../ Move 2 levels up
. Current folder
cat Concatenate to screen
rm [file] Remove a file, e.g. rm [file] [file]
rm -i [file] Remove with confirmation
rm -r [dir] Remove a directory and contents
rm -f [file] Force removal without confirmation
rm -i [file] Will display prompt before
cp [file] [newfile] Copy file to file
cp [file] [dir] Copy file to directory
mv [file] [new filename] Move/Rename, e.g. mv -v [file] [dir]


mkdir [dir] Create new directory
mkdir -p [dir]/[dir] Create nested directories
rmdir [dir] Remove directory ( only operates on empty directories )
rm -R [dir] Remove directory and contents

PIPES – Allows to combine multiple commands that generate output

more Output content delivered in screensize chunks
> [file] Push output to file, keep in mind it will get overwritten
>> [file] Append output to existing file
< Tell command to read content from a fi


[command] -h Offers help
[command] —help Offers help
[command] help Offers help
reset Resets the terminal display
man [command] Show the help for ‘command’
whatis [command] Gives a one-line description of ‘command’
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abdullajytdfhgs4 commented Apr 8, 2019


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gdwwl commented Apr 11, 2019


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NotaPhysicist commented May 11, 2019

Thanks for your efforts. Very helpful for me as a newbie.

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jsanchez74 commented Jun 11, 2019

I am just starting with this. Thank you.

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elhamsalmanian commented Sep 5, 2019


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apettiigrew commented Oct 10, 2019


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this-is-batman commented Nov 13, 2019

Please add less command to your shortcut list as it is more efficient than more as can be seen in this link

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marcusziade commented Nov 27, 2019

Thanks 👌

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eddiejervis commented Jan 17, 2020

Hi, can anyone help me? I'm new to this

I want to make a batch file that chooses each green labeled files within a certain folder and unzips the “” and then creates folders (named: Edited, Buildings, Extra, Front Cover, Interior, Map, Properties (Properties has three sub Folder inside: CGI, Floor Plans and Properties 290x200px) and Town) it the organises each file within the folder into those categories based upon its name

It also creates another Folder within each green labeled file called “Optimised” with the same subfolders (named: Edited, Buildings, Extra, Front Cover, Interior, Map, Properties (Properties has three sub Folder inside: CGI, Floor Plans and Properties 290x200px)

Then uses photoshop to optimise the files within the “Links” folder, in each green tagged folder, to certain parameters e.g Quality 3, 1400px width and 1400px height and places them into the “Optimised” file within.

Then starts another photoshop optimisation with “Links” subfolder “Properties” and it’s sub folder “CGI” and then places them into the sub-sub-folder of “Optimised” - “Properties” - “Properties 290x200px) with the settings Quality 10, 290px width and 200px height

Then takes an InDesign File within the green tagged file and exports each page as a high quality .jpg, into a file named “jpg” and then optimise those pages using photoshop with a quality 10, px 1500 width and 1500 height into a subfolder within that folder called “Optimised”

I need it to loop with every green tagged file within a folder

I have so many files to go through exactly like this, I wanted to automate it as it’s rather over whelming, I have tried Automator on Mac, but I’m so lost. Can anyone help?

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Githubdhwani commented Jan 24, 2020

Very helpful for new bee. Thank you so much

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elvinhuseynzade1 commented Jan 29, 2020


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denyin commented Feb 2, 2020

very helpful! Thank you so much!

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leschiffres commented Feb 7, 2020

Amazing! Thanks!

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jasper-the-whale commented Apr 18, 2020

Very helpfuly! Thanks very much :)

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zengtianli commented Apr 27, 2020

great work! thanks

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aadydas commented May 3, 2020

thanks a lot!

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judylime commented May 22, 2020


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politaleon commented Jul 26, 2020

Great! Thanks!

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harshakokel commented Jul 29, 2020

cd - for going back to previous location

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ulilalbab commented Aug 9, 2020


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bluebuddah commented Aug 25, 2020

Keybase proof

I hereby claim:

  • I am bluebuddah on github.
  • I am ewh2085 ( on keybase.
  • I have a public key ASCYXex4tlXNlSz-O4BMTgXAy3RKBtpi1j6XYvGS_QprSwo

To claim this, I am signing this object:

  "body": {
    "key": {
      "eldest_kid": "0120b43e34d2a86152f4e84e274652b68e3fd27d09c22f464dfb19dbee2f07c6bac30a",
      "host": "",
      "kid": "0120985dec78b655cd952cfe3b804c4e05c0cb744a06da62d63e9762f192fd0a6b4b0a",
      "uid": "ccbe220ddee72953ca067a109f5ecd19",
      "username": "ewh2085"
    "merkle_root": {
      "ctime": 1598319087,
      "hash": "87f6b7fff3063d701df671f85cca917d3fd541a21c59693eb02d8c248447ab7891b0cc857482a80b009065080c68f040f1a50389ea57785a9b2b9f7fc51be6d2",
      "hash_meta": "1684bced3fc76124f04d1348982178e001bb9d8d039a4d0aad243ab2bdff3d4a",
      "seqno": 17374172
    "service": {
      "entropy": "55rlSr7A0Jvi5df2S0Xj/b9x",
      "name": "github",
      "username": "bluebuddah"
    "type": "web_service_binding",
    "version": 2
  "client": {
    "name": " go client",
    "version": "5.5.0"
  "ctime": 1598319109,
  "expire_in": 504576000,
  "prev": "0293e57488477cc8d5fc95d223bb686bee7020ded3df07e28a17badafda7a15b",
  "seqno": 69,
  "tag": "signature"

with the key ASCYXex4tlXNlSz-O4BMTgXAy3RKBtpi1j6XYvGS_QprSwo, yielding the signature:


And finally, I am proving ownership of the github account by posting this as a gist.

My publicly-auditable identity:

From the command line:

Consider the keybase command line program.

# look me up
keybase id ewh2085

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Techiefrankie commented Aug 30, 2020

Serves the purpose.

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aficici commented Sep 8, 2020

Thank you. Very simple and informative.

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rudrathegreat commented Sep 27, 2020

I believe most of the commands mentioned on mac and the exact same for linux

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SynergyBest commented Nov 5, 2020

Thanks very useful

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ghost commented Nov 20, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-11-20 at 11 59 06 AM

I am getting this update message, only to be told file is corrupted when trying to update, then it reminds me the next day. I searched online and found a --ignore command for Terminal, but that doesn't seem to work in Big Sur? So I'm not sure how to remove this update as the application is nowhere to be found on my laptop.

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ErikaDva commented Nov 23, 2020

Thank you!

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adminjsentu commented Nov 29, 2020

Awesome and thank you! :neckbeard:

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thanhpl commented Jan 9, 2021

Thank you <3

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julianmartinez10 commented Feb 19, 2021

Huge help. Thanks!

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