Documentation, Books, Applications
Apple System Status
appleid.apple.com - Create an Apple ID.
icloud.com/find/ - Find your device.
Apple Support - Knowledge Base.
Check coverage - Find hardware details, AppleCare etc from a serial no.
Apple Developer Docs - macOS Documentation.
Apple Combo Updates - Several macOS point releases in one download.
Apple Support Downloads - Patches, Security updates, new and old versions of Apple software.
Apple Open Source - OS, Tools and Languages
Apple Font Tool Suite - Command line tools for working with font files.
Apple developer fonts - Apple fonts have a very restrictive licence (only use with Apple software) other more open fonts are available.
Legacy Contact - Setup a Legacy Contact access key for Apple ID.
macOS Command Line Tools - GCC and make Developer downloads.
mac OS Compatibility Guide - Which Macs are compatible with a later version of macOS
mac OS Server User Guide for macOS Big Sur - User profiles, Users and Groups, Network accounts.
Apple Support Manuals
iPhone Activation Lock
Fruit Stand Workers United
By default installs to /opt/local/
Philosophy of keeping everything separate. Aimed at developers. Written in TCL.
Prerequisites: Requires a full install of Xcode (around 11 GB).
MacPorts can be installed to your home directory, so multiple users of the machine can have different setups.
By default installs to /opt/homebrew/
Philosophy of dependence on MacOS shipped libraries. This can mean some items are one or two iterations behind MacPorts.
Doesn't require sudo, geared towards ease of use. Does not handle multiple users on the same machine well. Written in Ruby.
Prerequisites: Requires the Xcode command line tools (around 750MB). Install with:
The tools should appear in /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/
apple.stackexchange - Pros and cons for MacPorts vs Homebrew.
MacOS comes with bash version 3.2.57 from 2007 which is the last version released under GPL2 (Apple don't want to support GPLv3)
If you want an up-to-date copy of bash, you can keep the default bash install and add a second bash install using a package manager like Macports or Homebrew. Use chsh to select this new shell.
sudo port install bash
brew install bash
To display the installed/current version:
Ken Segall - Marketing blog.
The Safe Mac - Malwarebytes advice.
SixColors - Apple and other tech news and culture.
MacOSXhints - 2014 Archive of old Hints & Tips, Q&A
Status: Apple Services, Stores, and iCloud, Dev Centre
/usr/share/doc/bash/bash.pdf - OSX Bash built in Help manual.
ifixit.com - Repair guides for Mac.
Google Shell Style guide - some short, sensible advice on coding style.
macOS Boot Disk Structure - EclecticLight.co
macOS Security and Privacy Guide - Github.
manpagez - Man Pages from Huntsville Mac Users Group.
Old Apple Manuals - PDF copies of old (pre 2003) Apple hardware manuals.
Mac Scripter - Applescript Tutorials & forum.
Using Apple Diagnostics (KB HT5781).
Migration Assistant - transfer files from another Mac.
Colour Picker - How to use the Mac colour picker.
Dictionary - How to add Webster's 1913 dictionary to macOS.
HT211683 - Download old versions of macOS.
macOS 12 Monterey - Full Installers.
macOS 11 Big Sur Upgrade/Stuck Progress Bar fix.
Jamf - Endpoint management for Apple devices.
Dosdude installer - Install macOS on old (unsupported) macs. [Howto]
dockutil - A command line utility for managing MacOS dock items.
Outset - Processes packages, profiles, and/or scripts at boot, on demand, and/or login. Wiki
SUS Inspector - Inspect macOS Software Updates.
Command Line Developer Tools for macOS
Xcode, Command Line Tools for Xcode, Font/Graphics/Hardware tools for XCode, ODBC Administrator Tool.
To install, either run a command like gcc or make which will prompt to download if needed or explicitly run xcode-select --install and then choose Install
Alternatively, login to https://developer.apple.com/download/more/ and download the DMG files directly, this is often faster.
Duf - Disk Usage/Free Utility.
DiffMerge - Graphical tool to compare two files.
FileMon - Log and respond to filesystem events.
pyheif - Python interface to libheif library, convert HEIC images to jpg.
rdfind - Find duplicate files.
Rudix - A collection of pre-built Unix software delivered as packages for macOS by Rudá Moura.
smartmontools - SMART hard drive monitoring.
Apple GUI Utilities /Network tools can be found in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications
App compatibility matrix of 7,000+ apps from roaringapps.com
AbiWord - Word Processor.
Acorn - Affordable Graphic Design.
AirPort Utility - Manage Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations.
Alfred - App/document launcher.
Amadeus Pro - Audio editor.
Angry IP scanner - network scanner for network administrators.
AnyBar - A scriptable colour indicator for the macOS menubar.
AppCleaner- Delete application/preference pane files.
Appify - Script that creates Mac apps from shell scripts.
Apple Configurator - Mass configure and deploy Macs, iPhones and iPads.
Apple Remote Desktop - Screen sharing plus remote install (Software Distribution).
ArtRage - Paint tool for kids.
Ardour.org - Record Multi-track digital audio.
Audacity / Tenacity - Audio editor and Recorder. [also ReplayGain]
AudioHijack - Capture streaming audio.
Audirvana - Audiophile music player for MacOS.
BBEdit - Text Editor.
Beyond Compare - Directory and file comparison utility (cross platform).
BinaryAge - TotalFinder, Spaces & DS_Store management.
Blender - 3D graphics.
Brackets - Open source HTML/CSS code editor.
Brightness Slider - Brightness control from the menu bar (free).
SimplyBurns - Burn CDs & DVD's.
cabextract - Free Software for extracting Microsoft cabinet files.
Carbon Copy Cloner - Clone/backup hard drive - bootable backup solution for the Mac.
pCalc - Calculator - A fully featured scientific calculator for MacOS and iOS.
Cog - Minimalist music player.
DiskWarrior - Disk Repair.
Doug's Scripts - This Tag That Tag - Swap/Copy iTunes metadata.
dvdbackup - $brew install dvdbackup - Rip DVD's from the command-line.
MyDVDedit - modify the content of a DVD.
DupeZap - Search and remove duplicate files.
Emby - Media Server.
F3 (Fight Flash Fraud) - Test flash card capacity/performance to verify claimed specifications.
FastScripts - run scripts with a keyboard shortcut.
FFmpeg - Audio/video encoder.
Find Any File - Find files that Spotlight doesn't, includes bundles/packages/folders that are excluded from Spotlight search.
Font Finagler - Font Cache Cleaner.
FlySketch - Screen shots with selections/highlights etc.
FreeCAD - Sketch 2D shapes and create high quality drawings / 3D models.
Front and Center - Utility to bring all the windows that belong to an application to the front, without clicking the Dock.
FTP - Cyberduck
FTP - Transmit (Panic)
Gemini - Duplicate file finder.
GIPHY Capture - GIF Maker
Gimp - GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Glimpse-editor - GIMP with a better name (beta)
GPG Tools - Encryption for Apple Mail messages and files.
Graphic Converter - File format conversion and basic editing.
Grand Perspective - Graphical disk usage utility.
Handbrake - DVD Ripper.
HTML Tidy - Check and fix HTML and XML files.
iA Writer - Distraction free word processor.
iExplorer - Copy music to an iPhone or iPad in disk mode, (like Android).
ImageMagick - Edit/Convert bitmap images(PNG, JPEG, GIF) on the command line (scripts).
Install via MacPorts: sudo port install ImageMagick
imageOptim - Remove image metadata & compress images without losing quality. (Free/Open Source).
iMazing - Transfer and save files to/from any iOS device, also back up the device. Also some free tools.
Inkscape - Vector Graphics (Illustrator).
iStat Menus - System Monitor.
iStumbler - Test WiFi & Bluetooth connections.
iTerm2 - Terminal with Search and Replay.
ItsyCal - A tiny menu bar calendar, links to the Mac Calendar app, free.
iTunes LAME encoder.
iTunes - CopyTrans Manager - Windows application that allows quick drag & drop from PC to iDevices.
Jamf - Mobile Device Management software for Apple devices.
Karabiner Elements - Keyboard customizer for macOS.
Keka - File archiver/extractor (.zip/.7z/.RAR).
KeyCodes - Display code for each keyboard key.
Keynote - Apple Presentation software (free).
Keynote-Extractor - Convert Keynote to HTML.
KeePassXC - Password Manager for macOS.
LaunchBar - App/document launcher.
LiteIcon - Change OS X finder icons.
Little snitch - Monitor applications 'dialling home' e.g. connections from syspolicyd when running an unsigned script.
LosslessSwitcher - Force the Apple Music app to set your current audio device's sample rate to match the currently playing song.
LuLu - Free, open-source firewall that can block unknown outgoing connections.
macOS installers download from here, or install the latest with softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer
m-cli - Command line administration of macOS.
MediaInfo - Display technical and tag data for video and audio files.
Microsoft Office for Mac - MS Office installers.
MTR (Mac the Ripper) - DVD Ripper.
Max - Rip CD's in Maximum quality & convert audio file formats (now 64 bit).
Menu Meters - view CPU, memory, disk & Network activity in the menu bar.
Micro - Terminal-based text editor that aims to be easy to use and intuitive.
MPV.io - A fork of mplayer2 and MPlayer.
NetNewsWire - RSS reader.
Numi - Calculator for MacOS (free).
OBS Studio - Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.
Open Office/Libre Office - MS Office compatible productivity suite (Free).
OmniGroup - Drawing/Diagrams, Dictionary, Outliner (note taking), Project Management.
OnyX - Maintain and optimize macOS.
Pacifist - Open pkg /dmg files e.g. macOS install disks and extract files.
Parallels.com - Run win 32 programs in parallel with macOS apps (Amazon link ).
Pashua - Aqua dialog windows for your scripts.
PCalc - Fully featured scientific calculator for macOS and iOS.
PDFtk - Command-line tool for processing PDFs.
Photoshop Elements - Basic photo editing and organisation.
PhotoRec - Data recovery software - hard disk, CD-ROM & Memory Cards.
PictureCode - Noise Reduction.
Pinboard.in - Bookmarking + app SimplePin
Pixelmator Pro - Image editor (alternative to PhotoShop).
Pixelmator - Image editor (alternative to PhotoShop) for older macs.
PGP for Mac - GPG Suite - secure communication and file encryption.
Quicksilver - App/document launcher (free).
Quick Look plugins - Various - via howtogeek.com
Quit All Open Applications - Automator.
RawTherapee - Raw image processing.
Reeder - RSS reader (compatible with feedly).
Reggy - Regular Expression tester/viewer.
Rename files - NameChanger / NameMangler / ABetterFinderRename
Remote iOS app - Control iTunes on a mac from a remote iPhone/iPad.
Remote Desktop for Mac - Microsoft RDP connect to Windows machines. Also Royal TS
ScreenGrabber - Convert movie to stills.
SwitchResX - Change Screen resolutions.
Scrivener - Writers studio (Outliner).
Shotcutapp - free, open source, cross-platform video editor.
ShinyWhiteBox - Video capture (record Window/Desktop).
Signal - Secure messaging.
Simon - Server monitoring.
SMARTReporter - HD monitor.
Smultron - Text editor with code highlighting.
Solarized theme for macOS Terminal.
SoX - Sound processing command line utility.
TotalSpaces - Spaces manager.
Subler - Edit Video metadata, remove facebook tracking numbers (.mp4/.mov).
SuperDuper - Disk cloner, create a bootable recovery disk.
SwiftDefaultApps - MacOS Preference pane to view and change default file associations.
Swinsian - A better iTunes.
Syncthing for macOS - Sync files between devices without iCloud.
TeamViewer - Screen sharing/Remote control (Mac/PC/Linux).
Telestream - Screen recording/editing, pro media player/editor.
TenderApp - Helpdesk.
TimeMachineEditor - change the default one-hour backup interval of Time Machine.
TinkerTool - User interface tinkering.
Tiny Player - The notepad.exe of Mac music players.
Transmit - The best FTP client.
TripMode - Bandwidth monitor for MacOS (for tethered laptops).
Ukelele - Keyboard Layout Editor.
Ulysses - Writing app.
The UnArchiver - A more capable replacement for "Archive Utility.app" (BOMArchiveHelper) Free.
Unison Newsgroup reader - Now free.
Unison - File-synchronization tool.
UTM - Virtualization for ARM64 or x86/x64 operating systems.
Unpkg - Tailor installation packages to allow manual install.
Vanilla - Hide menu bar icons.
Vienna - RSS reader.
Vim for Mac - Classic text editor.
VLC Audio/Video Player - MP3, wma, DVD, Flac etc.
Video Codecs - Handy list from the University of Berlin.
VMWare Fusion - Run Wintel & Mac apps side-by-side.
VueScan - Scanner Software.
WebP utilities - encode/decode WebP animated images, Google.
WiFi Explorer Lite - Wireless network discovery - identify channel conflicts and Wi-Fi network configuration problems.
Window managers - Magnet and Amethyst.
Witch - Application/Window switcher.
World Clock - Screensaver.
Xee - Image viewer.
XLD - X Lossless Decoder - Rip audio CDs with no errors, can also convert audio file formats.
Xcode Developer Tools package - Apple programming tools and utilities for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
youtube-dl - Video download script.
Many of the commercial apps above are also available in the Apple App Store. Apple may enforce certain legal/functional restrictions. Buying software direct you will avoid those limitations but will also miss Automatic Updates through through the App Store.
Find more apps at MacUpdate.com
[ Full disclosure: I get a finder's fee on stuff you buy from Amazon.com by clicking through this website.
That doesn't cost you anything, but the commissions help to keep the site running ]
macOS Catalina: The Missing Manual - Amazon / Biblio / Bookshop.org / Hive UK
by David Pogue
The "must have" guide for all macOS users, Aug 2020.
Macintosh Terminal Pocket Guide: Take Command of Your Mac - Amazon / Biblio / Bookshop.org / Hive UK
by Daniel J. Barrett, 2012
Commands neatly arranged into two dozen categories, including directory operations, file comparisons, and network connections.
Learning the bash Shell (O'Reilly 3rd edition)
by Cameron Newham
Bash shell programming, flow control structures, job control.
MacOS and iOS Internals by Jonathan Levin
A 'Russinovich level' 3 volume detailed reference to the kernel and internals of macOS.
AppleScript : The Definitive Guide by Matt Neuburg
An in-depth guide to AppleScript, 2nd Edition 2006.
MacRumors Buyer's Guide - product cycle summary for each Apple computer with buy recommendations.
MacOS Compatibility Guide - Hardware and MacOS compatibility. Apple supply security updates for the current OS + two previous releases.
Apple Support Communities
AppleID - AppleCare login.
AppleCare registration (also buy AppleCare at eBay)
Louis Rossmann - Right to Repair.
Unshaky.app - Supress Double Key Presses - for the faulty Macbook / Pro butterfly keyboards (2016-2020).
SS64 Discussion Forums
“Real artists ship” ~ Steve Jobs (attr)