Idiot's Guide to Basic UNIX Commands

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This is a simple list of commands needed to install applications, plugins or do some other "unixy" stuff on the AppleTV.

Become root

sudo -s
  • sudo will ask for the current user's password, which is "frontrow".
  • type "exit" to "undo" being root.


kill $(ps ax | grep [F]inder | cut -c 1-5)

Mount/unmount a dmg file


hdiutil detach /Volumes/<name of image>

If that doesn't work:

hdiutil detach -Force /Volumes/<name of image>


hdiutil mount someimage.dmg

Remount your root (/) file system read/write

  • needs to be executed as root user (see above)
mount -rw /dev/disk0s3 /

Move files around

  • might need to have the root file system mounted in read/write mode
mv /file/you/want/to/move /target/location/

Start shlight

  • needs shlight installed
  • if problems arise, please first add the servername to /etc/hosts (see below)
/usr/sbin/shlight //<servername>/<sharename> /Users/frontrow/Movies/somemountpoint

Add a host to /etc/hosts

echo -e "<ip>\t<servername>" >> /etc/hosts

Get a screen capture of your AppleTV

screencapture -s filename.png


sudo reboot
sudo halt (I had some problems rebooting after this, not sure what it is) 
pmset sleepnow (does not work) 
pmset schedule sleep "05/05/09 22:08:00" (pmset: Error in scheduling operation) 
pmset schedule wakeorpoweron  "05/05/09 22:08:00" (pmset: Error in scheduling operation)