Mac OS Quick Start

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This page will help you with the first time use of your Mac, it contains several tips and links to helpful pages.

Power on your devices


To power on your Mac press the button located in the lower left corner behind your screen. The power-on button can also be used to put your iMac to sleep.

Magic Mouse

To power on your Magic Mouse turn this around and slide the switch. For more tips on how to use your Magic Mouse browse to Magic Mouse.


To power on your keyboard press the button located in the upper right corner on the side of your keyboard. For a list of frequently used keyboard shortcuts browse to Mac OS Keyboard Shortcuts or have a look at handy shortcuts.
For additional information about your keyboard browse to Mac Keyboard Guide

Home Folder

Note: that this information is only meant for people working at the mathematical institute using a managed Mac.
The home folder that will be automatically mounted at login is also the home folder you currently use on Linux/Unix/Windows(S:), as a result most items (except platform specific) you have on your desktop will appear on your iMac desktop.
The home folder is stored on a server, if anything goes wrong with your Mac you will still have all your files. In case of network problems you might want to consider making a local copy, for this see Working Offline.

If you are a mac user and want to automatically mount your home folder at logon you should contact the servicedesk.
It is also possible to look at the following pages to mount other drives at your mac, then take a look at the following page * Project Storage: How to.

Configure the Finder

The Finder is the default file manager of the iMac. It is responsible for the overall user-management of files, disks, network volumes and the launching of other applications.
By default the Finder only shows the bare minimum, if you need the Sidebar to display more then follow this small tutorial.
Open the finder located on your Dock then go to upper left corner of your screen then Finder -> Preferences browse to the Sidebar tab and tick the items you wish to be displayed in your Finder. Note most people will want to tick their homefolder and the harddisk.

Custom Folders

Some people might find it useful to have custom folders in the sidebar of the Finder. To accomplish this you can either drag a folder on the Favorites bar in the Finder or select a folder and press ctrl + cmd + t.

Transferring Bookmarks


In order to transfer your bookmarks you need to export them. To export them press ctrl + shift + b then select Import and Backup -> Export Bookmarks to HTML... save them at a convenient location.
Note if you are using another browser you should export your bookmarks as HTML.


On your Mac open your favorite browser.

  • In case of Firefox press cmd + shift + b then press on the star icon -> Import Bookmarks from HTML... and browse to your bookmarks file.
  • In case of Safari goto the upper right corner of your screen then File -> Import Bookmarks... and browse to your bookmarks file.
  • In case of Chrome press cmd + alt + b then select Organize -> Import Bookmarks from HTML File... and browse to your bookmarks file.


Bookmarks can also be managed by iCloud however ICT-Beta does not give any support on this.

Installing Applications

Admin Rights

To install applications you need administrator rights, you can check if you have these by starting the terminal Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal and typing the following command:

id yoursolisid

If the admin and science_osxadmin_mi group are listed then you should have admin rights.

Installing & Uninstalling Applications

Installing applications on your iMac is easy, most applications can be downloaded from the appstore others you can get online. To install applications you downloaded from a website simply double click the archive or dmg file and follow the install instructions, in most cases you will be asked to press continue, sometimes you need to perform a drag and drop operation.

It might happen that the installation will not start and it will give either one of the following two errors:

  • Unidentified Developer
  • File is damaged

To fix this you need to follow this tutorial.

To uninstall applications you just need to drag the application to the trash can and empty it.

For more information about installing and uninstalling applications go here.

Updating Applications

Updating applications can be done by starting the Software Update located in the upper left corner of your screen. This only applies to software installed by the appstore, other applications have to be manually updated by downloading the newest version from their respective websites and installing them.
Some applications won't let you update unless your are logged in on a local account, this is to make sure the update process won't go wrong if the network connection fails. To update these applications you need to login as a local administrator, this account is known to people of the mathematical institute using managed macs, new users can contact the servicedesk.

Stopping Applications

There are several ways to (really) stop applications. The easiest way is either to press cmd + q, to go to the menu and select quit or to ctrl + left mouse or right mouse click on the application located in your dock and select either quit or if the application doesn't respond force quit

The second way is to open the Activity Monitor like so Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor or execute the following command on your terminal Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

open /Applications/Utilities/Activity\

Then find the application you are looking for and terminate it by clicking on the X button.

The last way is by using the Terminal. Open the terminal and execute the following commands.

ps -eaf (which will list all processes)
kill PID (replace PID with the actual process number)

Additional Information

Below you will find some links to some additional information, it recommended that you check out Tips and Tricks.