Chapter 18. 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 because, with Mac OS X, to get to the former you must go through the latter.

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 19.1 in Chapter 19.

Terminal Preferences

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

Setting a default shell

There are two ways to set a default shell when using your system, which are suggested by the “When creating a new Terminal window” radio buttons found in Terminal’s Preferences window (TerminalPreferences, Setting a default shell-,), seen in Figure 18-1.

The Terminal Preferences dialog

Figure 18-1. The Terminal Preferences dialog

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, ...

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