Still others, accustomed to logging on to Macs and finding the desktop, applications, documents, downloads, movies, music, pictures and other files already stored in handy, easily folders accessed via the Finder, aren't necessarily confident they understand where these folders and their contents are truly stored on the Mac's hard drive. The Mac OS X file system stores files within folders, also known as directories. The top, uppermost folder is known as the root directory.
Folders located within or beneath the root directory are known as subfolders or subdirectories, two different ways of saying the same thing. That may seem obvious to more advanced users and administrators, but even some more seasoned users may not be aware an absolute directory path exists for each file. To navigate to a specific file's path, which can prove critical when attempting to administer a Mac using the Terminal, first, the user must understand the directory structure.
Beneath the root, on most Macs by default, are several additional folders, including Applications which stores programs and Users which stores home folder information for each user possessing an account on the machine. Once Terminal is opened by opening Finder, selecting Applications, opening the Utilities directory and double-clicking Terminal , the Mac user is greeted with the command prompt.
The change directory cd , list ls and print working directory pwd commands are particularly helpful when navigating a Mac's directory or file system structure using Terminal.
The cd command is used to navigate to the directory or folder the user wishes to access. For example, if from the command prompt the operator wishes to change the working directory to the Applications folder, the user should enter the following command:. Entering cd followed by the absolute path to the file or directory in question enables operators to navigate to specific locations quickly when using the command line.
Instead of navigating to the Applications folder, if the operator instead intended to change the working directory to the Applications folder's Utilities subfolder, the user would enter:.
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Once the correct file location is established, operators can begin manipulating files within the working directory. The Merge option appears only if one of the folders contains items that are not in the other folder. If the folders contain different versions of identically named files, the only options are Stop or Replace.
To organize your files automatically, use Smart Folders. Smart Folders automatically gather files by type and subject matter, and are instantly updated as you change, add, and remove files on your Mac.
How to Get to the Previous Directory in a Mac Terminal
Create a folder On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window, then navigate to where you want to create the folder. Alternatively, click the desktop if you want to create the folder on the desktop. Enter a name for the folder, then press Return. Do any of the following: Put an item in a folder: Drag it to the folder. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: naam on Feb 15, '06 AM.
Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: aalegado on Feb 15, '06 PM. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: daeley on Feb 15, '06 PM. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: freew on Feb 15, '06 AM.
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You can also get the UNIX command 'pstree' through fink. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: acet on Feb 15, '06 AM. Mind you, this code falls apart pretty quickly in the face of directories or files that have colons ':' in their name. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: kenji on Jul 14, '08 AM. Thanks for this version!
Easily Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: daflory on Feb 15, '06 AM. Easily Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: solipsism on Feb 15, '06 PM. Directories containing spaces break output Authored by: cougar on Feb 15, '06 PM. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: bhughes on Feb 15, '06 PM. There is a Finder contextual menu item that can do this, it copies to the clipboard. It doesn't include the " --" characters but the source is freely available and could be modified to add that.
This output is practically meaningless Authored by: jacobolus on Feb 15, '06 PM. Display a tree-like structural view of any directory Authored by: dogstar on Feb 16, '06 AM. I cant get this to work? Any hints anyone? Search Advanced. From our Sponsor Latest Mountain Lion Hints Click here for complete coverage of Lion on Macworld. User Functions Username: Password:.
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From Our Sponsors. I'll be the first to admit I don't understand anything in that command past the colon-replacement bit, but it does work quite nicely. You may wish to add more at the end to page through the output.
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I do not, however, recommend doing that with a huge directory such as Applications, unless you have some time to wait. I tried it, and after a few minutes of waiting, wound up with a 1.
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