Using the Command Line Interface, and a Caution Regarding the Master Password
Some Mac OS X tasks are more easily accomplished in the Command Line Interface rather than through the graphical environment. These include:
• Some options are not accessible through the graphical interface, but can be reached through the CLI
• The CLI allows you to view and open any file and folder, giving you a way around the limitations imposed by the Finder
• The CLI grants invisible remote access using the SSH client
• You get root user-level entrance and execution of files and tasks
• The CLI is easy to script using a variety of languages. These include, but are not limited to, Python, bash, Perl and Tcl
• Utilizing the CLI and ARD, you can administrate several Macs at once
How can you access the Command Line environment? There are four different ways to do it.
• By running the Terminal application
• You can initiate a User Mode session by pressing the Command and S keys simultaneously during system startup
• At the login screen, enter ‘>console’ as your username
• Or, use the SSH client to start a remote session
Much like the old DOS operating system for PC’s, the CLI will show you a user prompt. The default user prompt includes:
• Name of Computer Host
• Directory name, or Current Location
• Username, or User’s Credentials
Usually, a CLI command has three parts. These are:
• Command Name
• Optional parameters, or Command Options
• Command Arguments. This last is optional, and is often the name of a folder or file.
There are several terms you should know and understand when working in the CLI. These are: folder, directory, path, absolute path and relative path.
• The first two are simple. They both refer to collections of files in the filesystem.
• A path is almost exactly what it sounds like. It describes the “path” to a specific file or folder in the filesystem.
• An absolute path includes complete directions, from the root to the file or folder in question.
• Relative paths give directions only from the current location.
Some things you need to know about resetting the Maser Password in relation to FileVault user accounts.
• If you already know the current Master Password, resetting it won’t make any difference to your ability to change FileVault account passwords.
• If you reset the Master Password because you don’t know the current one, then you have to login the individual FileVault accounts and disable, then enable their FileVault encryption.
• If the FileVault password is also lost or unattainable, that’s bad. Then, the content of the FileVault volume in question is permanently lost.