Common Terminal Commands on Mac

Common Terminal Commands for Your Next Software Development Project

Being a developer is tough work. There are so many things to remember that you forget to accomplish the simplest tasks. Just like a normal person forgetting where they left their car keys or leaving the grocery store with a single item on a list, the most skilled developers are prone to forgetting things.

Terminal Program on Mac

Unfortunately, it keeps them from doing their job efficiently, especially in a time-sensitive environment with lots of different deadlines. Many developers often forget their terminal commands for software projects.

To avoid using the internet for a reference during a time-sensitive project, here are all the common terminal commands you should be aware of.

What are Terminal Commands?

The terminal is a built-in program on Mac computers. It simply uses text commands to operate a computer without using an interface, or simply a mouse to click and utilize applications.

If you’ve ever saw TV shows or movies where hackers are typing repeatedly to use a computer for their own purposes, then you should have a great idea of how terminal commands work.

If you’re familiar with all of the common terminal commands, you can quickly use a computer to navigate an extensive software development project. Terminal commands for GitHub will always begin with the standard prefix git.

It’s then followed by your command:

Terminal Commands

List of Common Terminal Commands

Here is an exhaustive list of all of the common terminal commands many developers use on a daily basis:

  • ~ This command is an indication of the home directory.
  • pwd This command stands for print working directory. In other words, it displays the path name of the current directory you’re in.
  • cd This is a command to “change directory”.
  • mkdir This is a command to make a new file folder or directory.
  • touch This is a command to make a new file.
  • . . This is a command to move up one level in the directory.
  • cd ~ This is a command to return to the home directory.
  • clear This command clears all information on the display screen.
  • ls This command provides a list of all the files within a directory.
  • ls -l This command displays a long, vertical list of directory files with the file name, date modified, and file permissions.
  • ls -la This command displays all files.

It’s also worth pointing out that if you enter the first couple of lines, and then press the tab key, it will auto-complete the rest of the file path name. This is an enormous time-saver for software developers.

Need More Help in Software Development?

Remembering all of the common terminal commands is a simple and straightforward process, especially if you bookmark this resource. If you do require more help in completing efficient software development and software staffing projects, then we can help.

At, we specialize in delivering world-class software development services from small businesses to enterprises. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team about beginning a new software development project for your company.

Ryan is the VP of Operations for He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
Connect with Ryan on Linkedin.
Ryan Nead