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Mac OS X in a Nutshell by Chris Stone, Chuck Toporek, Jason McIntosh

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Chapter 19. Using the Terminal

The Terminal application (/Applications/Utilities) is your gateway between the candy-coated Aqua graphical interface and the no-nonsense command-line interface that Darwin uses. This book (as well as a lot of Apple documentation) tends to use the terms command-line and Terminal interchangeably, since, with Mac OS X, to get to the former you must go through the latter. (Which is not to say there aren’t alternatives for those willing to look; see Section 19.3, later in this chapter.)

Using the Terminal

Each window in the Terminal represents a separate shell process—a command-line interpreter ready to accept your instructions, as described in Section 21.1.

Terminal Preferences

The Terminal application’s user settings control not just the application’s look and feel, but the ways that you interact with your shells. This section covers the more important application preferences to know about.

Setting a default shell

The Terminal Preferences dialog

Figure 19-1. The Terminal Preferences dialog

There are two ways to set a default shell when using your system, suggested by the “When creating a new Terminal window” radio buttons found in Terminal’s Terminal Preferences window, seen in Figure 19-1. The lazier way involves activating the “Execute this command” button and typing a shell’s path into the neighboring text field. Henceforth, whenever you open a new Terminal window, that shell will ...

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