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Chapter 9. Unix: Working with the Comman... > A Command Line with the Mac OS?

A Command Line with the Mac OS?

As you learned earlier in the book, Mac OS X is running on top of a version of the Unix operating system. This means that Mac OS X can use many of the Unix applications that are available. It also means that you can enter Unix commands directly in the command-line interface to manipulate your system. In fact, in some situations, using a Unix command might be the only way that you can accomplish a task (such as deleting a rogue file that you can't delete by dragging it to the Trash).

Unix is a very powerful language/operating system; however, it is also enigmatic and many of its commands require you to use complicated syntax with the commands in order to get them to work properly. Unix commands are incomprehensible to most people by just looking at them, so don't expect to be able to figure out how a particular command works without some help. Mostly, you will learn about commands that you want to use from various Unix resources (such as this chapter, other books, Web sites, and Unix manual pages). You might find using the command line to be so counter to the traditional Mac interface experience that you don't want to use it; if so, that is fine because there aren't that many situations in which it is required in everyday Mac use. However, if you want to master Mac OS X, you should become familiar with the command line and learn some basic Unix commands. You might find that Unix provides you with ways of doing things that are both powerful and efficient.


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