We all know that Mac OS X is UNIX certified allowing command line users to use Terminal to execute quick Bash or Perl script pipelines. However, for us that are more familiar with the GNU Linux environment, there are some slight variations in the commands we often use, such as the –complement flag in cut, or the -h flag in sort. These options are non-existent in the OS X versions of the commands, and there are probably more instances of these that I haven’t run into yet.
There is a very simple way to install these GNU commands for your Mac using Homebrew:
brew install coreutils
This will allow you to use the GNU versions of the commands, for example, gsort is used in place of sort, and gcut in place of cut.
If you don’t have Homebrew installed (it’s almost like using apt-get to install programs and commands) you can install it by first installing Xcode and making sure command line tools is installed for Xcode. Then run the following command:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
Some online blogs recommend installing XQuartz afterwards too.
Note: this was performed on OS X Yosemite version 10.10.3