macOS

How to Use system_profiler Utility in macOS Terminal

In this post, we will provide you with a list of commands you can use when you need to gather information about the macOS system from the terminal.
Captain Salem 2 min read
How to Use system_profiler Utility in macOS Terminal

The system_profiler utility in macOS is a command-line tool that provides detailed technical information about the hardware and software configuration of a Mac computer.

It essentially generates a comprehensive report, or "profile," of the system, which can be useful for troubleshooting, system administration, and understanding the specifications of a Mac.

Get System Information

To get system information from the system_profiler utility, you can use the command as shown:

system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType

Get Printer Information

To gather any available printer information, you can run the command as shown:

system_profiler SPPrintersDataType

Output:

Printers:

      Status: The printers list is empty. To add printers, choose Apple menu > System Settings…, click Printers & Scanners, and then click Add Printer, Scanner, or Fax…
      CUPS Version: CUPS/2.3.4 (macOS 14.0; arm64) IPP/2.0

Get Installed Apps

To gather the information about installed apps, you can run the command as:

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType

Example output:

Applications:

    CopyClip 2:

      Version: 2.9.98.9
      Obtained from: Identified Developer
      Last Modified: 25/09/2021, 17:45
      Kind: Universal
      Signed by: Developer ID Application: FIPLAB Ltd (VM4H2VWS56), Developer ID Certification Authority, Apple Root CA
      Location: /Applications/CopyClip 2.app

    AnyDesk:

      Version: 7.2.1
      Obtained from: Identified Developer
      Last Modified: 21/07/2023, 16:52
      Kind: Universal
      Signed by: Developer ID Application: philandro Software GmbH (KU6W3B6JMZ), Developer ID Certification Authority, Apple Root CA
      Location: /Applications/AnyDesk.app

    CleanShot X:

      Version: 4.6
      Obtained from: Identified Developer
      Last Modified: 05/09/2023, 23:41
      Kind: Universal
      Signed by: Developer ID Application: Make The Web Oślizło & Magiera s.c. (AFJU4P8ZV4), Developer ID Certification Authority, Apple Root CA
      Location: /Applications/CleanShot X.app

    The Unarchiver:

      Version: 4.3.5
      Obtained from: Identified Developer
      Last Modified: 13/05/2022, 12:14
      Kind: Universal
      Signed by: Developer ID Application: MacPaw Inc. (S8EX82NJP6), Developer ID Certification Authority, Apple Root CA
      Location: /Applications/The Unarchiver.app

    group.is.workflow.my:

      Obtained from: Unknown
      Last Modified: 29/08/2023, 04:19
      Kind: Other
      Location: /Users/csalem/Library/Application Scripts/group.is.workflow.my.app

    com.apple.ctcategories:

      Obtained from: Unknown
      Last Modified: 29/08/2023, 04:23
      Kind: Other
      Location: /Users/csalem/Library/HTTPStorages/com.apple.ctcategories.service

    MRT:

      Version: 1.93
      Obtained from: Apple
      Last Modified: 29/08/2023, 04:28
      Kind: Universal
      Signed by: Software Signing, Apple Code Signing Certification Authority, Apple Root CA
      Location: /Library/Apple/System/Library/CoreServices/MRT.app

Get Installed Frameworks

To gather information about installed Frameworks, we can run the command as shown:

system_profiler SPFrameworksDataType

Get Developer Tools Information

To return the developer tools information, run the command:

system_profiler SPDeveloperToolsDataType

Get Startup Items

To view the information about startup items in macOS, run the command as shown:

system_profiler SPStartupItemDataType

Get Network Information

To fetch detailed networki information, run the command:

system_profiler SPNetworkDataType

Get Firewall Status

The command below should return detailed firewall information.

system_profiler SPFirewallDataType

Get Bluetooth Informtion

To get detailed bluetooth information, run the command:

system_profiler SPBluetoothDataType

Get Ethernet Information

To get ethernet information on the host machine, run the command:

system_profiler SPEthernetDataType

Get USB Information

To get detailed USB information on the machine, run the command:

system_profiler SPUSBDataType

Conclusion

This short tutorial shows you how to use the system_profiler utility in macOS to gather detailed information about various system objects.

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