Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Making your OS X Terminal more useful for DOS refugees

I’m a DOS/Windows old-timer, but have been using a Mac for a number of years.. I find the OS X terminal (which is the *NIX bash shell) very flexible, but needs some tweaks to help me with my embedded DOS muscle memory – this is probably very basic and old-hat for *NIX types, but it’s here for my reference as I keep forgetting when I move to a new Mac.

If you look in your home dir “cd ~” you need to create (or edit, if it already exists) the “.bash_profile” file – you can do this with TextEdit, or use nano (“nano .bash_profile”)

Paste in the following contents


export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=GxFxCxDxBxegedabagaced
alias dir=”ls -ahl”


Save the file (CTRL-X, yes, enter) in nano

then type “source .bash_profile” to load the changes (or start a new terminal session)

You now have a more DOS-like prompt with the full path in it, colour coding for different types of files and a “dir” command which shows the contents of the current directory by aliasing the “ls” command and adding some parameters to show it list-like.

Some really helpful references here

Also – in terminal, terminal->preferences/profiles and you can set the “pro” profile as default by hitting the “default” button at the bottom of the pick list – also remember to check “Antialias Text” for sharper text.

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