OSX Terminal – Tab and window shortcuts

In a previous post, I shared a tip on Naming your Terminal tabs in OSX Lion. I’ve been meaning to share some additional shortcuts that I use day-to-day for opening new tabs and renaming them via the command line.

The workflow

We can rename tabs and windows as before:

# Rename tab
tabname "Funky Tab"

# Rename window
winname "Funky Window"

Or, leave out the name to base it the current directory:

# Rename tab to current directory name

# Rename window to current directory name

…and to save typing, these are aliased as ‘tn’ and ‘tw’, so this will do the same:

# Rename tab to current directory name

# Rename window to current directory name

Now, for opening a new tab we have:

# Open new tab, cd into same directory as current tab and name it

By default this will open a new tab, cd into the same directory as the current tab and name it based on it’s directory. You can optionally include a path:

# Open new tab, cd into specified directory and name it
tab ./path/to/directory

Of course, there is a lazy version of creating tabs too:

# Shortcut for 'tab'

The code

To get this functionality, just drop the following into your ~/.profile file:

function tabname {
  # Will use current dir name if called without arg.
  printf "\e]1;${1-$(basename `pwd`)}\a"
function winname {
  # Will use current dir name if called without arg.
  printf "\e]2;${1-$(basename `pwd`)}\a"
function tab {
  # Will cd into current dir if called without arg.
  osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal"' \
            -e 'tell application "System Events" to keystroke "t" using {command down}' \
            -e "do script \"cd `pwd` && cd ${1-.} && tabname && clear\" in front window" \
            -e 'end tell' > /dev/null
alias t='tab'
alias tn='tabname'
alias wn='winname'

See the Gist here.

Happy tabbing!

Git add -A and git commit one liner

When working with Git, I often find myself typing:

git add -A && git commit -m "My commit message"

This stages any changes including new files (which "git commit -am" doesn’t), marks any files that have been deleted from the working copy as removed and commits to the repository.

Following a quick Google search, and thanks to this handy git alias article, I created a “ca” (commit all) alias using:

git config --global alias.ca '!git add -A && git commit'

Now committing all changes is as simple as:

git ca -m "My commit message"

This is a good solution, however I prefer adding the following function to my ~/.profile file:

function gca {
  git add -A && git commit -m "$1"

Which gets us to:

gca "My commit message"

Quickly pushing your public SSH key to a server

I find myself needing to do this on a regular basis, so here’s a handy snippet for adding your public SSH key to a server’s authorized_keys file, assuming your public key is at “~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub” (the default).

ssh user@host "echo '`cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub`' >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

…or pop this in your ~/.profile file:

function push-key {
  ssh $1 "echo '`cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub`' >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

and run the following when you need to push your key to a server:

push-key user@host

Edit: Christopher mentions in the comments that you could use ssh-copy-id which is great on systems that support it, however it’s not available by default in OSX.

Pow, meet rbenv

I just ran into a problem with Pow when using rbenv for Ruby version management whereby Rails apps were not launching properly, giving the the following error message:

Error starting application
Your Rack app raised an exception when Pow tried to run it.

Bundler::GemNotFound: Could not find ??? in any of the sources

Turns out that Pow doesn’t know anything about rbenv unless you tell it. Thomas Fuchs tweeted a solution, suggesting that you just add the following to a ~/.powconfig file:

export PATH="/Users/username/.rbenv/shims:/Users/username/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"

Kill off your Pow process (I use the Powder gem for this i.e. powder down && powder up) and all should work just fine.

I personally prefer the solution mentioned in this related Github ticket as is saves having to hardcode your home directory:

export PATH=$(rbenv root)/shims:$(rbenv root)/bin:$PATH

Happy Pow’ing.

Using both Pow and Apache on OSX Lion

I have written previously about using Pow for Ruby/Rails development. Pow is great if you are purely developing in Ruby, however I’ve recently found myself needing to edit a WordPress site.

Pow intercepts requests to port 80 by default meaning that no requests can make it through to the default Apache installation on OSX. I’ve found the best way around this is to disable Pow whenever developing in PHP. The powder gem handles this nicely, so:

gem install powder

Now you can now disable Pow with the following, therefore letting requests through to Apache (assuming you have it enabled):

powder down

And once you’re done with the PHP development, enable it again with:

powder up

As a side note, I usually leave Apache disabled by default i.e. uncheck “Web Sharing” within the “Sharing” section of System Preferences until I am going to be doing some PHP development.

Hope this saves someone some time figuring out how to disable/enable Pow.

Naming your Terminal tabs in OSX Lion

If you find yourself in the Terminal app with a bunch of tabs open, the default name of “bash” isn’t very useful when navigating between them. You can change the tab name via the UI by right clicking the tab, then clicking “Inspect Tab” and changing the window or tab names but this is somewhat long winded.

Below are a couple of bash functions I have in my “.profile” file to make this easier:

function tabname {
  printf "\e]1;$1\a"

function winname {
  printf "\e]2;$1\a"

Now you can easily name your tabs or windows with the following:

# Rename tab
tabname "Funky Tab"

# Rename window
winname "Funky Window"

Thanks to Bubu and Chris Page on the SuperUser site for the right codes.

Git – setting up a remote repository and doing an initial push

There is a great deal of documentation and many posts on Git out there, so this is more of a note to self as I keep forgetting the steps needed to set up a remote repository and doing an initial “push”.

So, firstly setup the remote repository:

ssh git@example.com
mkdir my_project.git
cd my_project.git
git init --bare
git update-server-info # If planning to serve via HTTP

On local machine:

cd my_project
git init
git add *
git commit -m "My initial commit message"
git remote add origin git@example.com:my_project.git
git push -u origin master


Team members can now clone and track the remote repository using the following:

git clone git@example.com:my_project.git
cd my_project


To have your terminal prompt display what branch you are currently on in green, add the following to your ~/.bash_profile (I have my current directory displayed in cyan):

function git-branch-name {
  git symbolic-ref HEAD 2>/dev/null | cut -d"/" -f 3
function git-branch-prompt {
  local branch=`git-branch-name`
  if [ $branch ]; then printf " [%s]" $branch; fi
PS1="\u@\h \[\033[0;36m\]\W\[\033[0m\]\[\033[0;32m\]\$(git-branch-prompt)\[\033[0m\] \$ "