[textbox rows=”1″]defaults read | pbcopy[/textbox]
defaults is a command line utility that manipulates plist files. defaults is present in the macOS and GNUstep operating systems, and first appeared in the NeXTSTEP operating system upon which both aforementioned systems are based. The system stores each user’s preferences set in a .plist file for each program stored at ~/Library/Preferences for user-specific preferences, and /Library/Preferences/ for global preferences. defaults writes to or reads from these plist files depending on the domain given.
A great advantage of the defaults system, which differentiates it from other systems, is its ability to store data in almost any format imaginable: integer, character string, floating point, binary data, dates, so-called dictionaries, or arrays of the same.
Previous versions also offered the opportunity of direct disk access.
Common uses of defaults:
$ defaults read DOMAIN # gets all
$ defaults read DOMAIN PROPERTY_NAME # gets
$ defaults write DOMAIN PROPERTY_NAME $VALUE # sets
$ defaults delete DOMAIN PROPERTY_NAME # resets a property
$ defaults delete DOMAIN # resets preferences