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Chapter 37. Using Basic Unix Commands > Other Useful Commands

Other Useful Commands

Thousands of other commands and utilities on Mac OS X could potentially be covered in a Unix chapter. Instead of trying to do the impossible and document them all in 15 to 20 pages, we finish the chapter by listing a few interesting functions that you can explore (remember to use man!) if you choose to do so.

  • curl— Retrieves information from a given URL. Useful for downloading files from the command line.

  • ncftp— A simple, yet surprisingly user-friendly FTP client.

  • cat— Displays a file's contents.

  • file— Shows a file's type (what it contains).

  • locate— Quickly finds a file based on the text in its name.

  • find— Locates files based on their size, modification dates, and so on. This is the Unix equivalent of the Finder's Find feature.

  • grep— Searches through a text file for a given string.

  • shutdown— Shuts down a Mac OS X computer.

  • reboot— Reboots a Mac OS X computer.

  • date— Displays the current date and time.

  • uptime— Shows the amount of time your computer has been online and what the current system load is.

  • passwd— Changes your Mac OS X password.

  • df— Shows the amount of free and used space on all available partitions.

  • du— Displays disk usage information on a directory-by-directory basis.

  • tar— Archives and dearchives files in the Unix tar format.

  • gzip/gunzip— Compresses and decompresses files.


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