Useful OS X Terminal Commands

As usual, last Sunday night, my Powerbook decided to come down with a really strange problem. It slowed to a crawl and for a moment I thought my hard drive was dying a slow death. However Disk Utility, showed no problems at all, so I was a bit puzzled by the problem. Eventually after deleting cache files with Cache Out X and rebuilding Prebindings and Spotlight databases, everything was back to normal. Apparantly it does not matter if I run Windows or OS X, I still end up doing computer maintenance at late hours of the night, when I could be sleeping.

I found these terminal commands handy. Unlike third party utilities, you can run these on any up-to-date OS X system.

To update Prebindings manually:

sudo update_prebinding -root / -force

To delete the Spotlight database from the boot volume:

sudo mdutil -E /

To run Software Update from terminal:

softwareupdate -l

To install Software Updates found:

sudo softwareupdate -i -a

Notes: Prebindings usually do not have to be redone, as OS X does this automatically, but if you are having a strange problem; rebuilding might help. Deleting the Spotlight database forces OS X to rebuild it right away, so it is best to let the computer sit overnight while it indexes the vloume. Spotlight is a feature of Mac OS X 10.4. For Software Update, terminal will not prompt for restart, so you must remember to do this after the updates are installed.

To Disable DMG File Verification:

defaults write com.apple.frameworks.diskimages skip-verify true

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