Mac cheat sheet for Debian users

My laptop had a hardware issue due to which I’d to use Mac for a week. While using it, these were the things I familiarized myself with to do the usual things.


is the Command
is the Control key
is the Option (alt) key
is the Shift key


  • To open chrome developer tools, you need to press Ctrl + Shift + I instead of F12.
  • I missed Home, End, Pg up, Pg dn, backspace keys. For Mac, you need use with the combination of arrow keys.
Home  ⌘ + <-  
End   ⌘ + ->

Wanting to pressing two key in combination to do this seemed counter intuitive to me.


  • Shortcuts for Cut, Copy, Paste, Select All, Close Window, Close tab are same as windows. We need to use for these key combinations.
  • For deleting an item, it is ⌘ + Delete. Just like how it is in Gnome.
  • For navigating to the browser’s address bar, We need to use ⌘ + L instead of Alt + D.
  • To right click, gently tap with two fingers.


  • For terminating a process, you need to use Control + C.
  • For using intelligence in IDE, you need to use Control + space bar.
  • To open a new tab in terminal, you need to use Ctrl + T just like opening a new browser tab.
  • Doubling clicking a folder, select the name for the renaming instead of opening. And also selecting a folder and hitting enter renames the folder.
  • To switch applications, you need to use + Tab instead of Alt + Tab.

Developer notes

Though Mac OS is UNIX, you might find it to support only limited Linux command. .dmg is the extension for application installers . You can get those installers from respective software site or install it via Appstore. App store is like Debian’s Synaptic Package Manager except you need to sign in using your apple Id to use.

Brew and Mac ports are the third party package managers that provide most of the software required for developing application. Except meld, I didn’t have any issue in installing software.

In addition to being a package manager, brew also manages the services it installs. brew services start mysql is the equivalent of sudo service mysql restart