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CLIX 1.7d

The command line interface for OS X now has over 1,000 commands.

CLIX, the free Unix 'command line' maintenance utility from Rixstep, has now reached the 1,000 mark - and gone beyond. With the new 1.7d release there are 1,051 Unix commands in the default database.

OS X is built on the Darwin variant of FreeBSD and CLIX ('command line interface for OS X') accesses the power of this operating system within an easy to use (and easy to learn) Cocoa GUI shell.

Although an excellent tool for the professional, CLIX also offers the newcomer an opportunity to learn how the underbody of OS X really works - and to maintain one's computer safely and securely.

Before and after: when your computer goes to sleep, CLIX clears your sudo password everywhere - even where you forget to look.

CLIX is not AppleScript: directly from the GUI shell it accesses the BSD subsystem - and when needed submits your admin password safely and securely. And your results - displayed in the command console window - are exactly what you would use if you were working with Terminal.

The difference is that all the commands are already typed in for you: you need only select a command and run it. There's less chance of making mistakes, no worries about syntax, no need to remember all the commands you need - CLIX does that for you.

In fact, just having CLIX running - without actually using it - increases your security. Whenever your computer goes idle, CLIX removes all authentication for privilege escalation so no one else can take it over.

And there are no strings, no come ons, no nags, no 'bait and switch' - it's all completely free. Members of the ACP user group were consulted before its release and all agreed CLIX should be free.

OS X is a powerful operating system and while users can be relieved they no longer have to deal with Registry snags or kernel extensions, there are other things to learn.

Unix started thirty some years ago with a teletype interface to Digital Equipment computers at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill New Jersey. Responses to commands were typed out on paper.

But Unix has withstood the test of time and is today the safest and most secure way to use the Internet. In 1999 Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Laboratories were awarded the prestigious Technology Medal in recognition of their achievement in creating Unix.

Over the years the contributions to the body of powerful tools has grown, and today the breadth of these tools is literally overwhelming. Almost all operating systems in use today borrow heavily from the philosophy of Unix and many port Unix programs to their own platform.

And yet these programs are normally only accessible from the command line, an interface more and more eschewed today. Many of them would lose their power if they were wrapped in a GUI shell.

Unix is unique in offering an elegant interface which allows programs to be combined in an infinite number of ways through the use of what is known as a 'pipe' - a communication channel connecting programs together.

Unix commands are famously cryptic: the creators needed commands that were easy to type with responses that were easy to read.

Learning this interface can be daunting to the newcomer; CLIX helps make things easier.

In the first years of the release of OS X any number of 'system maintenance tools' appeared on the scene. They used AppleScript to 'wrap' these Unix commands. Some were free; others were shareware; none of them helped users learn to use their operating system, preferring to hide what they were doing from view.

OS X users deserve better.


CLIX was originally released with a single 'default' database of commands, each with a title, a category, and a short description. Commands can be edited and copied from one command file to another. Users can create new commands and new command files. Like Unix itself, CLIX gets its flexibility and its power from its simplicity.

But the number of commands grew over the years and thus the need arose to 'categorise' the CLIX commands to make it easier for the first time user to get started. Today CLIX ships not only with its original database but with all the commands divided up into categories as well - a staggering 2,095 commands spread over a dozen command files. There's something for everybody, every occasion.

Command FileDescription
clean.clix Commands for finding, cleaning (and purging) caches, browser history, cookies, downloads, receipts, .DS_Store files, temporary files.

79 commands.
desktop.clix Commands accessing the preferences system for global settings, Address Book, AppleScript, Crash Reporter, Dashboard, desktop settings, Dock, DVD Player, Exposé, Finder, HI toolbox settings, iChat, iDisk settings, the iPod, iTunes, Login Window, the menu bar clock, Quartz, Safari, Spotlight, Terminal, the trash.

262 commands.
Commands for checking disk free space, disk usage, general disk info, HFS encoding, toggling journaling, repairing disks and permissions, updating prebindings, verifying disk permissions and disk burns, working with Internet disk images, advanced commands for working with RAID sets, creating sparse images, copying an iPod song collection to the hard drive.

32 commands.
list.clix Commands for listing .DS_Store files, app profile data, app packages, backups, cron settings, defaults domains, frameworks, libraries, key folders such as /etc, /private, /tmp, and /var, NetInfo, NIBs, open files, open LDAP, network files, Unix files, partitions, preferences folders, property lists, receipts, recent folders, contents of root home folder, Samba settings, screen savers, spool files, sudo folder, the trash, '.Trashes', virtual memory files.

39 commands.
log.clix Commands for reading, cleaning (and purging) the console log, crash reports, CUPS logs, daily.out, weekly.out, monthly.out, the FTP log, Apache logs, library logs, the lookupd log, the line printer log, the mail log, the NetInfo log, the panic log, the PPP log, the Samba logs, secure.log, the system log, check system activity in wtmp, run periodics.

70 commands.
lproj.clix Commands for removing unwanted localisation ('lproj') folders.

180 commands.
misc.clix Commands for accessing the 'calendar', 'dict', and 'misc' folders of the subsystem to show famous birthdays, computer milestones, historical events, US and international holidays, famous dates in The Lord of the Rings, milestones in music, grammatical connectives, proper names, Webster dictionary entries, hyphenated nouns, airport codes, the ASCII table, birth flowers and birth stones, boot block data, CD boot data, the meanings of flowers, international country and city phone codes, North American area codes, comparing units of measurement, US zip codes.

23 commands.
network.clix Commands for configuring and testing Apache, netstat commands for checking network status, turning off .DS_Store in the network, network commands for checking AFP, ARP, host info, lookupd, accessing URLs, NFS, for pinging the root-servers, for checking Samba, flushing network caches, accessing ARIN and GeekTools.

81 commands.
security.clix Commands for viewing, cleaning (and purging) app profile data, system attacks, the authorization file, effective GIDs and UIDs, file systems, file types, block files, character files, empty folders and files, FIFOs, SGIDs, SUIDs, symlinks, world writable files, firewall status, GIDs and UIDs, groups, the local NetInfo dump file, the sudo folder, allowed and forbidden sudo commands, sudo parameters, sudo 'sure kill' and 'sure kill all', the sudoers file, and system activity in utmp.

71 commands.
system.clix Commands for the advanced user for showing GCC specs, memory leaks in running programs, the C associativity table, object file data, for disassembling object files, the BSD style guide, displaying trace codes, commands for showing the contents of .hidden, .profile, the number of active CPUs, Altivec status, the Apple plist DTD, architecture type, displaying banners, bashrc, battery status settings, boot time, byte order, current calendar month and year, current month and year in Julian, the clock rate, the number of CPUs, crontab, csh login and logout files, the daily weekly and monthly scripts, the date as local and UTC, default keychain data, all defaults, all defaults domains, launch service defaults, root defaults, user defaults, desktop background data, DLDB search list, system message buffer, disk dumps, memory dumps, swap file dumps, file system status, find junk files throughout the system, the default Finder path, active users, floating point processor status, system calls and page faults, users disallowed FTP access, single user mode group database, process heap info, local machine info, hostconfig, single user mode hosts cache, I/O statistics, inetd configuration database, I/OKit registry, IP forwarding flag, kernel extensions, kernel version, L2 cache size, 'landmines', available printer devices and drivers, files with resource forks, load averages, 'Mac' error codes, machine type and designation, file magic data, mail access, 'manpath', master password file, maximum file handles, fragmented packets, processs, socket buffer size, number of sockets, vnodes, installed RAM, RAM available to user, UI server menulet extras, message of the day, MIME types per file extension, httpd MIME types, hardware model designation, force the modem to disconnect, 'moduli', rndc control channels, single user mode networks database, NVRAM variables, OS release revision and type, system page size, Mach-O logical pages, command path, path MTU discovery flag, reformatting property list files, POSIX 1 version, POSIX 2 version, power management settings, process status with CUP usage memory usage and threads, Internet protocols, open files, terminals, active vnodes, purge swap files, max raw socket datagram, multiuser startup script, all RC files, single user startup, RC cleanup script, common RC setup, NetBoot configuration script, recent applications and documents, reset ownership of all home files, create process profiles, system call statistics, activate screen saver as desktop background, show 'secure' level, Apple security defaults, sendmail configuration, well known ports, environment variables, chpass shells, object file section sizes, Samba configuration and templates, SSH configuration, standard timeslicing quantum, supplemental GIDs, system product name product version and build version, synchronise all disk writes, kernel state, hardware statistics, IP statistics, kernel statistics, net statistics, system and build versions, terminfo entries, system usage statistics, default TTL, user terminal name, terminal initialisation information, terminal installer, global umask, operating system name and all options, generic processor type, machine hardware name, nodename, update the locate database, uptime, name and UID of current user, all current users, generate UUID, system configuration preferences, Mach virtual memory statistics, virtual memory regions, present users and what they are doing, presence of W enhanced trackpad, who is logged in, information on effective user, effective user ID, window resize time, default resize time, extended Internet services daemon configuration, xinetd.d.

208 commands.

See Also
CLIX Home Page
CLIX Features
Cool Clever Stuff with CLIX
Cool Clever Stuff with CLIX II
Cool Clever Stuff with CLIX III
Macworld Review April 2005
Macworld Review December 2004

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