Mac OS

Unix and Linux

Used in Apple’s Mac laptops and desktops, the Mac OS is one of the easiest operating systems to use. The following is an introduction to the basics of Mac OS.

How to get started with Mac

When you power on a Mac computer for the first time, you also start up the guide program that helps the user to get started with the computer. The program assists the user to create a user account and define the user’s own settings. If necessary, data and files can also be transferred from another Mac or a Windows computer.

User interface and basic functions

The Mac desktop is illustrated below.

The following introduces the most important elements shortly.


Like Windows, Linux and other graphic operating systems, the desktop is also predominant in Mac OS’s user interface. The desktop is marked with number 1 in the image above. The most important functions, program icons and menus of the Mac OS can be found on the desktop. The started applications will open on the desktop.

Menu bar

The menu bar (2) can be found at the top of the desktop. When pressing the Apple icon of the upper left corner, the display shows the Apple menu which will let you edit the settings and updates of the computer. You can also shut off the computer this way. The row on the right side of the Apple menu includes the menu commands for each application. The upper right corner has e.g. icons that display time, audio settings and the status of the wireless network. You can see the Spotlight magnifying glass icon far on the right. You can search files and applications on your computer with the Spotlight function.


The bottom of the desktop shows the Dock (3) where you can find the popular applications, folders and links as well as the recycle bin. You can also find the open applications and documents in the Dock. You can attach and remove applications in the Dock the way you like, and you can find them quickly for future use.

Gesture control

Just like other laptops, Mac computers also have a touchpad for controlling the mouse on the computer display. Unlike in other computers, the Mac’s trackpad can be used in a more versatile manner with the so-called gesture control. These finger gestures are swipes with one or more fingers, and they are designed to help controlling the computer e.g. when browsing websites. Read more about the gesture control on the manufacturer’s website.

Unix and Linux