I am reading a book that speaks about Bash in Linux systems. But I am a Mac OS X user and I cant find /proc folder in my machine.

Where I can see the Mac OS X terminal equivalent of the /proc folder?


1 Answer 1


To communicate with the kernel, different UNIX systems use different interfaces - not necessarily procfs. It's not a must-have. While it's become quite common with Linux and FreeBSD indeed, OS X (which is based on BSD) does not implement a procfs.

The equivalents to most proc calls would be found in other tools such as sysctl(8) and the sysctl(3) call. Read the manpages (man 8 sysctl or man 3 sysctl) for some examples. Other things you can do with proc cannot be done easily on OS X. This is just a design choice.

See also:

Note that Bash is just a shell (a command line program) that you can use within a terminal emulator (such as Terminal.app on OS X). The shell does not have anything to do with the underlying file system or system architecture. You could switch to any other shell like Zsh or csh – or even another terminal emulator such as iTerm2 – and still use the procfs.

  • 1
    Excellent procfs article you linked to.
    – voices
    Mar 26, 2017 at 2:09
  • Thanks for the answer, however the online man pages form Apple were archived and these links to sysctl(3) and sysctl(8) are broken now. I could find a mirror only to sysctl.3 only in a mirror website. I would recommend to use the built in man pages in the OS as a source of truth using $man sysctl
    – Montaro
    Jul 10, 2018 at 14:09
  • I don't seem to have a man page for sysctl on Mojave. I miss proc.
    – Kallaste
    Feb 22, 2019 at 23:56
  • @Kallaste I'm not on Mojave yet, so I can't test it, but manpages might only be available with Xcode command line tools. On High Sierra, man sysctl still works.
    – slhck
    Feb 23, 2019 at 14:22
  • man sysctl works on OSX Catalina
    – rapidclock
    Oct 12, 2019 at 19:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .