Windows Command Line (CMD) and Mac OS Terminal Navigation Commands

Sometimes, even the simplest tasks can be forgotten if not practiced and repeated. In this short tutorial, I am going to show you some basic command line commands in Microsoft Windows, and their equivalent commands in Apple Mac OS Terminal. This is by no means a complete reference to the available commands, just a short list of some common commands available to you on your operating system. In this post, I will about Windows Command Line (CMD) and Mac OS Terminal Navigation Commands.

Knowledge of CMD/Terminal commands may be needed for using command line interfaces  (CLI) of applications where Graphical User Interface is missing, or when CLI  provides a faster/easier way to perform a task. Let’s see some of the commands

The CMD/Terminal window

To open the CMD window in Microsoft Windows you may follow several ways, one of them being choosing Run option from the start menu, typing “cmd” in run window, and clicking “enter”. This will open the CMD window in Microsoft Windows

CMD Home folder
CMD window

Here you will see the version of the Operating System, and the path to the home folder. The white sign in the picture points your current location in the disk. Home folder is the usual starting point when you open CMD window.

In Mac OS you will usually find the Terminal in Other programs folder. When you open the terminal, you will see the name of the current folder. If you want to know the full path to the current folder, you can type pwd and see the full path.

MacOS terminal window

List files and folders

If you want to list files and folders in that directory use:

WINDOWS MAC OS
dir ls

Here you see the list of directories in my home folder

Listing files in a directory with dir command in Windows CMD
Listing files in a directory with dir command in Windows CMD

Move to directory

If you want to change your current directory to another directory, use:

WINDOWS MAC OS
cd “path to the folder” cd “path to the folder”

When you execute the command by pressing “enter” in your keyboard, if the path is correct, you will see that you current folder will change to the new path.

Get back to parent directory

If you want to go one directory up in the directory tree, execute:

WINDOWS MAC OS
cd.. cd ..

and you will see your current directory will change to the parent directory. Please note that in windows two dots are connected to cd, and in MacOS there is a space between cd and dots.

Get to the root

Wherever you are in the directory tree, you can move to the root directory by executing:

WINDOWS MAC OS
cd cd /

This will get you to the disk root of the directory tree.

Create a directory

Creating a new directory is done using

WINDOWS MAC OS
mkdir MyFolder  mkdir MyFolder

This will create directory MyFolder in your current directory.

Remove a directory

Removing a directory first requires the directory to be emptied from contents, and then be removed. Removal commands are:

WINDOWS MAC OS
rmdir MyFolder rm -r MyFolder

 

Rename a directory

To rename a directory execute:

WINDOWS MAC OS
rmdir  mv oldName newName

 

Rename a file

To rename a file execute:

WINDOWS MAC OS
ren oldFileName newFileName mv oldFileName newFileName

 

Delete a file

To delete a file exeute:

WINDOWS MAC OS
del filename rm -Rf filename

Delete command does not ask for confirmation, so please be careful.

Check the Path

Some programs need to be added to the PATH in order to be accessible through command line interface. If you want to check your current path, you can execute the following command:

WINDOWS MAC OS
echo %path% echo “$PATH”

This will print current path variable and you can check if required programs are added to the path.
I hope this helps.

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