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RELEASE: CLIX for macOS
A new standalone version. 188.8.131.52. Completely free as always. No strings.
LONDON (Rixstep) — Rixstep today announce version 184.108.40.206 of standalone CLIX, the command-line utility for OS X and macOS. CLIX is the unique utility that harnesses the power of Apple's 'Rock Solid Foundation' and makes it easier to use, both for the novice and the seasoned professional.
CLIX 220.127.116.11 is available for immediate free download. Please see the link at the end of this page.
CAMBRIDGE, UK — Why pay for something if you can get it for free? Many people have wondered, as reviews of CLIX testify. Now that Apple's OS is also free, there's less reason than ever.
CLIX began as an attempt to put to sleep all the 'wizards' of Apple's then-new system who tried to sell back to people that which they already had: the powerful BSD Unix tools already on their hard drives, but now packaged in pretty user interfaces.
There was of course a problem with that, aside from the unreasonable price. Developers embedded ordinary (free - they're already in your system) Unix command-line tools in Apple 'scripts' and then connected these to slapdash GUIs. The price? A tenner, or in some cases as much as $25. For which you got nothing you didn't already have.
But they weren't flexible, were they? They often lumped many commands together, so you either chose them all or refrained altogether. And there was no way to add new commands of your own.
Perhaps more importantly: Unix command line tools do not have to be difficult. Built by what Dave Cutler called 'a committee of PhDs', they can often have confusing syntax.
There had to be a better way. That way is CLIX.
The goal of CLIX development has always been to provide the community with a free utility that:
- Helps the novice learn and acquire new skills without a steep learning curve;
- Provides a safe environment, preferably safer even than the default (Terminal.app);
- Affords an ease of use in adding one's own new customised commands to the collection;
- Offers a suitable system for archiving these commands for quick future access; and
- Treats the protection of the user as the overriding and highest priority.
CLIX interfaces with the BSD Unix command line, but keeps things simple for you. Many are the tutorials available on CLIX at other sites; essentially you just 'click' instead of typing lugubrious command lines (as the command lines are already stored in your CLIX command files).
There are two caveats when using CLIX, as compared to the command line.
- CLIX runs Unix commands in 'batch mode': CLIX cannot 'interact' with the system; and
- Use of OpenBSD's sudo for privilege escalation requires use of the '-S' command-line switch.
In terms of raw security, CLIX should beat the system command line (Terminal.app).
- Unix command lines using privilege escalation (Apple or otherwise) can easily be hijacked;
- Protecting one's system against such attacks normally requires use of the arcane tool visudo.
- Straightforward use of CLIX protects against such attacks - for the entire operating system.
CLIX issues two additional commands whenever you 'click' for a command of your own: the first of these, almost instantaneous in execution, clears sudo data on disk to prevent malware from exploiting your system; the second, run asynchronously after your own command completes, essentially repeats the same process.
CLIX is not available through Apple's App Store, and for a very good reason: administration tools of this sophistication must not be left in the hands of 'third parties'. For CLIX, security is everything.
Security is so important for CLIX that a full dozen consistency checks are performed each and every time you:
- Launch the CLIX application (CLIX.app);
- Attempt to open a CLIX 'command sheet'; and
- Attempt to run a CLIX command.
It is also for this reason that CLIX does not rely on Apple's 'code signing' for security, as code signing can easily be defeated on the desktop computer system.
It is for this reason Rixstep developed their own method of 'sealing' CLIX with something they call 'Houdini Inside' - that is, the seemingly impossible trick of locking something inside (from the outside).
(Try to imagine the legendary artist locking himself inside a container wrapped in chains, but with him doing the locking, and with him inside as he does this, and you get a bit of the idea.)
CLIX is a self-contained 'sealed' binary that runs its own Unix commands as a subprocess; to ensure even this is not in some way hijacked, CLIX confers when necessary with the system process table to make sure the subprocess is actually spawned by CLIX itself, and not by an intruder with bad intentions.
In short: CLIX is the safest way to use the 'Rock Solid Foundation' already built into your system. And as always, it's completely free. No strings.
- macOS Sierra 10.12 or higher
- Backward compatible to OS X 10.6
- 210 KB (plus command files)
Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Microsoft, IBM, Barclays Bank, and Sony/Ericsson.
Rixstep and Radsoft products are or have been in use by Sweden's Royal Mail, Sony/Ericsson, the US Department of Defense, the offices of the US Supreme Court, the Government of Western Australia, the German Federal Police, Verizon Wireless, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Microsoft Corporation, the New York Times, Apple Inc, Oxford University, and hundreds of research institutes around the globe. See here.
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