Using the Terminal on macOS (Overview)

The terminal can be intimidating to work with when you’re used to working with graphical user interfaces. However, it’s an important tool that you need to get used to in your journey as a Python developer. Even though you can substitute some workflows in the terminal with apps that contain a graphical user interface (GUI), you may need to open the terminal at some point in your life as a Python developer.

In this Code Conversation, you’ll follow a chat between Philipp and Martin as they perform common tasks in the terminal on macOS, such as:

  • Showing the current working directory
  • Listing the contents of a folder
  • Adding text to files without opening them
  • Displaying the content of a file

Along the way, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find the terminal on your operating system
  • Open the terminal for the first time
  • Navigate your filesystem with basic commands
  • Create files and folders with the terminal
  • Run Python files on macOS

If you’ve never worked with the terminal on macOS before or when you want to see some interesting use cases to incorporate the terminal into your workflow, then this video course is the perfect start for you.


Course Slides (.pdf)

5.5 MB

00:00 Welcome to Using the Terminal on macOS. I’m Philipp with Real Python, and in this video course, I’ll give you an introduction to the terminal.

00:10 The terminal can be intimidating to work with, especially when you’re used to working with graphical user interfaces. Even though you can do many of your day-to-day tasks on a computer with apps that contain a graphical user interface, you may need to open the terminal at some point when you’re learning Python.

00:28 And yeah, the terminal really is an important tool for you as a Python developer. But granted, at the beginning, it’s hard to figure out how to navigate this dark space.

00:38 To show you how to get started using the terminal, I invited Martin as a guest today. Martin will get a bunch of tasks from me that he has to perform in the terminal on macOS. He really has to perform all the tasks in the terminal, so there will be no mouse. You’ll see no windows, except the Terminal window.

00:57 But there will be files, there will be folders, and, of course, there will be some Python in it as well.

01:05 And here is what we’ll tackle in this course. You’ll learn how to open the terminal, how to create files and folders, how to navigate the file system, and then you’ll learn how to show contents of files and how to edit, copy, and move them. And, of course, you’ll learn how to run Python files in the terminal.

01:26 If this is your first encounter with the terminal and you are feeling a bit nervous right now, I promise you that Martin will do a wonderful job of explaining things.

01:35 And even if you are already a seasoned Terminal user, I promise that you’ll learn a thing or two. But before we begin the conversation, let’s get a bit of theory out of the way in the next lesson.

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