Usually, OS X users are rarely faced with the need to use the command line, since most of their needs cover the graphical interface of the system. However, sometimes there are situations when you need some hidden features of the operating system, which can be accessed only through the Terminal application. In this article, we will describe how Terminal Emulation Software can be handy when working on Mac.
But first of all, what is a Terminal?
Let’s start by understanding the meaning of the word “Terminal”. A terminal is a part of a certain system, ensuring its interaction with the external environment. For example, the terminal is a part of the airport where operations with passengers are performed. It is the entry and exit point in the air transportation system, in which the staff sets the parameters for operations with passengers: who, when and where to go. The same does the Terminal in the computer, only instead of passengers – the data, and instead of the staff – the user. Thus, a terminal is a window of communication between a person and an operating system.
Why is the Terminal Emulation Software important?
There are three reasons that make the Terminal an indispensable tool:
1. It allows you to program manipulations with files and folders in the operating system.
2. You can run other utilities and program their interaction with each other inside it.
3. You can perform work with servers via the Terminal, allowing you to analyze gigabytes of data hundreds of times faster than on a personal computer.
Let us examine each of these aspects in more detail.
Managing servers through the Terminal
The terminal is not only a window into the operating system of a personal computer but also into the operating system of a server, which can be located thousands of kilometers from your current location. Through the Terminal emulator, algorithms (bash scripts) which could take a week to run on your computer can be sent to the remote server. Thanks to its power, the server will perform calculations in a matter of hours. Such an approach allows the analysis of large data arrays in the shortest possible time.
Luckily, there are a lot of Terminal emulator solutions for Mac users that can facilitate their lives. For example, Commander One presented by Eltima Software. Besides being not only a great Terminal Emulator for Mac, it is also a powerful file management solution with a dual-pane interface. Find the one that fully meets your requirements and enjoy how easy things can be.
The terminal as a file and folder manipulator
Most users do not need to use the Terminal due to the graphical shell of their operating system. However, one cannot do without it when it comes to manipulating files and folders more complicated than: “copy a document from one folder and paste it into another”. Suppose you need to rename a photo and add the date when this photo was taken to the current title. What could be simpler: open file properties, copy the date, close file properties, insert the date in the file name. And now just repeat this action for all the photos on your computer (and if you have more than 50 thousand of them) and it will take you heaps of time. The solution of the same task in the Terminal will take no more than half an hour even for a novice user. The trick is that in the Terminal, the user can program actions by delegating routine work to the computer.
Using Terminal to create scripts
Another important feature of Terminal emulators is the ability to run other programs in it in order to automate processes in programs and provide autonomous interaction between them. If the input and output data of these programs are arranged in the form of files, then the Terminal will be able to launch the programs sequentially. The algorithm will resemble a chain of such actions: run program A, load the input data there (file A), export the analysis results to file B, close program A, run program B, load file B there, and so on … Thus, millions of files can be analyzed automatically and in quick time.
As you see the Terminal is very useful in many situations, nevertheless, it is not necessary to use it all the time. Hope this article was useful and helped to give a general idea about the Terminal and its role.