Command-Line Applications on macOS

macOS is the only Apple platform with a user-visible command line, and thus it’s the only one where the idea of a command-line application makes sense. If you’ve worked with Terminal, you’re likely familiar with Unix’s standard built-in commands (ls, chmod, more, and so forth), and perhaps more substantial programs like the command-line version of git, or ffmpeg for converting audio and video files between formats.

On the surface, you might think these apps are different from double-clickable Mac apps, because they exist as a single executable file that must be invoked from a command line or shell script. But as you saw back in Understanding App Bundles, the macOS app bundle is just a folder structure that ...

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