When using Terminal, be sure to escape blank spaces

Terminal is a Mac OS X utility program that provides user access to every part of the operating system. The user interface is entirely command-driven. There is no GUI and no undo function. Terminal is reminiscent of the DOS prompt, or what Windows users view on their computer screen when they type cmd or command in the Run dialog box.

I recently spent time troubleshooting a VMWware Fusion installation of Windows 7. I was attempting to start Windows while its Mac host was connected to an AirPort wireless network. During the Windows startup phase, Fusion responded with the following error message:

The network bridge device on /dev/vmnet0 is not running

After the bootup process finished, I was unable to access the wireless network from within Windows. Searching the Internet, I found a reference to this problem on the VMware Fusion web site.

The suggested solution instructed affected customers to remove and reinstall the network adapter in the Fusion settings window, then execute (as root) the following command in Terminal.

sudo /Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion/boot.sh –restart

The command syntax provided on the VMware web page is incorrect. It will not execute the way it is written. Two of the folder names (Application Support and VMWare Fusion) include blank spaces. As such, they need to be properly ‘escaped’ by adding the backslash (\) character. Note the difference in the following Terminal command:

sudo /Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/boot.sh –restart

An alternative technique is to enclose the entire command sequence with quotation marks, like this:

sudo “/Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion/boot.sh” –restart


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Filed under Apple Software, Third Party Software, Troubleshooting

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