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Mac Terminal Cheat Sheet

SHORTCUTS

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

CORE COMMANDS

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

COMMAND HISTORY

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

FILE MANAGEMENT

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]

DIRECTORY MANAGEMENT

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

HELP

[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’
@III-Student-III

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@III-Student-III

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commented Oct 3, 2017

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@valmassoi

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commented Nov 1, 2017

rm -i [file] is duplicated:

rm -i [file] | Remove with confirmation
...
rm -i [file] | Will display prompt before

@hepcat72

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commented Feb 27, 2018

Are those shortcuts shell specific. ctrl-r doesn't do anything for me and I know ctrl-d is end of input, not exit current shell.

@yemper

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commented May 20, 2018

this was truely a help, thank you. i appricate it.

@omridevk

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commented Jul 9, 2018

ESC + backspace - will delete word, works better than ctrl + w in most cases.

@gyant

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commented Jul 12, 2018

@omridevk

The downside to ESC + backspace is you have to disengage ESC after every word deleted or it starts deleting single characters as normal. If you're deleting multiple words, CTRL + w has the expected behavior without needing to disengage CTRL for every word.

@rahafajaj

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commented Oct 31, 2018

Useful shortcuts! Thanks!

@MomoKaku

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commented Jan 27, 2019

thanks buddy, appreciate it

@amarantesmind

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commented Feb 4, 2019

Thanks!

@giowaza

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commented Feb 7, 2019

very helpful for me as a newbie.

@DawitAbay

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commented Feb 17, 2019

what does three dot mean ...

@Nesma-Mahmoud

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commented Feb 21, 2019

Thanks!

@janzaib-masood

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commented Mar 21, 2019

Thanks!

@abdullajytdfhgs4

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commented Apr 8, 2019

ths

@abdullajytdfhgs4

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commented Apr 8, 2019

ths

@gdwwl

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commented Apr 11, 2019

谢谢

@NotaPhysicist

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commented May 11, 2019

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

@jsanchez74

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commented Jun 11, 2019

I am just starting with this. Thank you.

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