10 Terminal Commands Every Mac User Should Know


1. 2D Dock

This command only works for users running OS X 10.5 or Leopard. If you don’t like the look of the 3D dock (the standard one) you can use this command to make the dock 2D.

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
killall Dock

2. Login Screen Message

This command adds a message to your login screen when you first power up your Mac. Just replace “Your Message” with what you want your login screen to say. WARNING This is a “sudo” command and these can be dangerous but I tried it and it worked fine.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText “Your Message”

3. Change Safari’s loading icon to a pie chart

This command changes the standard blue loading line on your Safari address line to a pie chart.

defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugUsePieProgressIndicator -bool true

4. Disable Dashboard

If you don’t like the Dashboard app you can disable it with this command. After you enter the command you will still have to drag the app to the “Application Folder”. Change YES to NO to enable it again.

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
killall Dock


5. Drag a dashboard widget to the home screen

Probably one of the coolest commands. This command enables widgets to be placed onto the desktop. Drag a widget around and press F12 to drag it onto the desktop. Repeat the process again to drag a widget back onto the dashboard. This may need you to log off or restart for it to take effect.

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES


6. Make hidden app icons transparent

If you hide a lot of the standard apps you can make them transparent instead of emptying out the dock.

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool YES
killall Dock

7. Change the menu bars color

If you don’t like the menu bar being transparent you can change it to white or gray with this command.


sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer ‘EnvironmentVariables’ -dict ‘CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE’ 1


sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer ‘EnvironmentVariables’ -dict ‘CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE’ 0

8. Stop the app icons from bouncing

If your like me, you hate the bouncing apps on the dock when you click on them. This simple command permanently stops that.

$ defaults write com.apple.dock no-bouncing -bool TRUE $ killall Dock


9. Play Star Wars Episode IV

If your like me than you love the Star Wars saga. With this command you can play “A New Hope” through terminal with the wonders of ASCII.

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

10. Make your computer talk to you

When your bored and have nothing else to do, you can make your computer talk to you.

say “Hello”

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