How to use the macOS terminal
The terminal is one key piece of your programming arsenal. It allows you to perform tasks that are otherwise impossible to achieve.
You can search
Terminal in Spotlight, or go to the
Applications folder, open the
Utilities subfolder, and look for the
When you open it, you’ll get this screen - or something really similar:
bash-3.2 indicates the type of shell, and its version. New term here - shell. What is a shell? A shell is a program that allows us to interact with the operating system and its applications.
Note: current macOS since Catalina uses zsh. Nothing else changes related to this tutorial
There are different kinds of shells:
Bash is one of the most popular. Some people use
Fish (like me), some use
Z Shell, some use other ones.
The shell is basically the program that allows us to enter our commands.
File system commands
We can start by entering the
ls command, and when we press enter the shell shows us the files contained in the current folder.
The shell normally starts from your home folder, which on a Mac is in
How do we know in which folder we currently are? You can get it using the
You can change the current folder using
If you just type
cd, the shell will get back to your home folder.
You can create a new folder using
In the shell you have access to all the programs and files installed on your computer. A lot of stuff.
npm is not a command that’s available out of the box, you need to install it from https://www.npmjs.com/get-npm, but when you get it, you can access it from the command line.
Once you do so, you can go into any empty folder and run
npm init to initialize a Node.js project.
Once you are ready you can start any Node.js program by running
There’s a lot more to it!
This post can get you started quickly to do the job, and you can explore more advanced features and capabilities of the shell later.
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