Where are you? In your cubicle, in an office, in your living room, a public library, on a blimp? Okay, probably not on a blimp. But you are somewhere right now, as you read this. You can look around and figure it out. And if you opened a window on your Mac, you would know where you were as well, because it would say so at the top of the window, like this:
But where are you when you open the Terminal? Turns out, it’s right there in front of you as well, you just may not have noticed, or known how to read it. Open a new Terminal window and don’t type anything, just look at the text to the left of your cursor. This is called the prompt:
And this is actually a lot of useful information in a little place. The lion-Apps: is the computer you’re on. That might be obvious, I mean, its sitting right there on your desk in front of you, right? But when you start logging into machines remotely, that can be a very helpful reminder. That little squiggle, ~, is called a tilde, and it tells you what folder you’re in. More on that in a second. fmcadmin is the user you’re logged in as. And finally, the $ tells us we are using the bash shell. There are different shells out there, but you really don’t need to worry about that at this point. All Macs use the bash shell by default.
Okay, wait, tilde? Whats that? Well, in order to explain that, we need to take a step back and talk about paths. A path is like a set of directions to get somewhere.