macOS(OS X) System Utilities and Their Corresponding Command Line Management Tools

Having used macOS/OS X for several years, I have come to realize that sometimes command line (cli) access for system preferences can be vital or life-saving when running into problems with macOS’ system functionalities. Additionally, macOS also comes with a bunch of useful functionalities only accessible via command line (some of them require installation via xcode-select --install).
Sadly, many of these exist without having been updated for years and their documentations have been moved to Apple’s Document Archive website. It is really disappointing that Apple seems to be no longer advocating command line operations for users of Macintosh.

Anyway, the following is an incomplete quick index of corresponding cli commands I have discovered for managing several macOS configurations/services. Most of these commands reside under /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin.

References: man pages of corresponding commands from either a macOS distribution or Apple’s Documentation Website

  1. Quick Look Manager (previewing files using Space Bar): qlmanage
  2. Profiles Manager: profiles
  3. Plist Utility: plistutil
  4. Editing system-wide or app-specific preferences and/or default settings: defaults
  5. Core Audio daemon: coreaudiod (normally, restarting this daemon via systemctl restart coreaudiod may solve potential “no audio output” issues for macOS/OS X)
  6. Spotlight metadata management: mdutil
  7. Kernel extension utilities: kextutil
  8. Preventing the system from sleeping: caffeinate
  9. Wireless diagnostic: wdutil
  10. Time Machine management: tmutil
  11. Audio file info: afinfo
  12. Image processing and conversion: sips
  13. TIFF image manipulation: tiffutil
  14. Privacy database access control: tccutil
  15. SMB (SAMBA) requester control: smbutil
  16. Notification command line utility: notifyutil
  17. HID event system debug utility: hidutil
  18. Disk images manipulation: hdiutil
  19. CD/DVD burner interactivity: drutil
  20. Configuration for system security policies: csrutil
  21. Touch ID configuration management (for Touch ID-enabled MacBook models): bioutil
  22. Font management: atsutil
  23. Some checksum commands: md5, md5sum, shasum (also available variants: sha1sum1, sha224sum, sha256sum, sha384sum), crc32

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