Keep Track of Defaults Write Commands Used on Mac OS Automatically

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If you want to tweak Mac OS X with a lot of default settings, write commands from the terminal, you already know how difficult it can be to keep up with them. Of course you can get command history for specific command syntax, and you can always use grep to find standard commands executed, but there’s a better way to keep track of them all, and that’s to keep an automatically updated text file that lists all used standard tweaks. This makes it really easy to keep track of which standard commands are activated or disabled on a specific Mac.

This tutorial guides you through how to automatically write each standard and keep track of all other standard command strings entered on a Mac by generating a text file that specifically tracks those command executions. This is immensely useful for those who often tinker with standard commands and either forget what’s turned on or off, or just want an overview of all the default settings on a Mac.

The other benefit of this trick is that it keeps the list completely separate from the general command history, which means that if the command history is cleared, the default list remains for future use.

How to Follow all standard commands used on Mac OS automatically

We’ll assume you’re familiar with the Terminal app, so open it up up start.

Use a text editor on the command line whatever you’re comfortable with, we’ll stick with nano because it’s simple and fairly easy to use:

nano ~ / .bash_profile

Paste the following string on a new line within .bash_profile

PROMPT_COMMAND = ‘echo “$ (history 1 | grep“ defaults ”)” | sed ‘/ ^ $ / d’ >> ~ / Documents / defaults.txt ‘

Note that the default location for the default list file is the user home directory ~ / Documents / folder in a file called “defaults.txt”, feel free to change that if you wish.

Save the document by pressing Control + O and then exit nano by pressing Control + X

The document named ‘defaults.txt’ is generated the first time the string ‘defaults’ is detected while executing a command. Each new default entry is added to a numeric list that is added on its own line.

This is perhaps best enabled fresh after a restore or right away on a new Mac, that way the defaults.txt file will contain the complete list of all the standard commands ever used on the given Mac.

After it’s been long enough to keep track of a few standard commands, opening the file will look something like this:

used standard writing commands list

If you use cat to view the file, you may see something like this:

501 cat ~ / Documents / defaults.txt502 defaults read com.apple.Finder503 defaults write com.apple.dock springboard rows -int 4504 defaults write com.apple.dock springboard columns -int 4; killall read Dock505 defaults / Library / Preferences / SystemConfiguration / com.apple.airport.preferences RememberedNetworks506 defaults write com.apple.systemsound “com.apple.sound.uiaudio.enabled” -int 1507 defaults read com.apple.systemsound508 defaults write com.apple.systemsound “com. apple.sound.uiaudio.enabled ”-int 0509 tail -f ~ / Documents / defaults.txt

As mentioned earlier, it packs everything with ‘defaults’ in the command syntax, including using cat, tail, nano, and everything else in the defaults.txt file itself. In addition, it not only keeps track of changes made with the default write values, but also when a default command is read with the default values ​​read or deleted with the default delete commands.

How to Limit the Defaults Tracker to only “defaults write”

If you prefer to see exclusive ‘defaults write’ strings, use the following in .bash_profile:

PROMPT_COMMAND = ‘echo “$ (history 1 | grep” defaults write “)” | sed ‘/ ^ $ / d’ >> ~ / Documents / defaults-write.txt ‘

Whatever you use, the resulting file is a generic text document and it can also be opened in nano, vi, TextEdit, TextWrangler, BBedit, emacs, or whatever the preferred client is. Not only does this make it easy to keep track of for system administration purposes, but also to share lists with friends and colleagues.

Thanks to Mike for leaving us excellent trick in our comments.

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Keep Track of Defaults Write Commands Used in Mac OS X Automatically: FAQ

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Keep Track of Defaults Write Commands Used in Mac OS X Automatically tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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