Robert Woodhead has written a very useful little utility called ShellShell
, which basically wraps an Aqua GUI around the terminal. You launch ShellShell, and then pick any one of a number of 'macros', which will execute terminal commands in a GUI.
If that wasn't enough, one of the really neat features is that ShellShell will show you the command-line version of what you've asked it to do before it runs. So you can see how you would do the same thing in the terminal. For example, ps
(Process Status) is a command-line version of Apple's ProcessViewer, and it has a large number of runtime options. When you first pick ps
in ShellShell, you get a dialog box with about 15 choices in it, with two defaults (show all, and include processes without terminals (ie Aqua programs)) enabled. It shows you that the command line version of this command is ps -a -x
. If you then add a check to "Display information about processes associated with user..." and enter your username, the shell command box changes to read ps -a -x -Uusername
. This is a great way to learn the obscure command-line options that exist for many UNIX programs.
Once you've set the options you want, you click RUN, and ShellShell returns the results in another Aqua window.
If you're new to UNIX and the command line, ShellShell is a neat way to teach yourself about various options without trying to decode UNIX "man" pages or using the sometimes dangerous "try it and see what happens" method. Best of all, ShellShell is 'legoware'; if you like it, Robert asks you to send his children some Lego pieces (you'll have to see the details on the Read Me file).
ShellShell doesn't include every UNIX command, but it includes quite a few and is easily extensible. Hopefully authors will chip in with new "macros" for the program in the future.