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HOWTO: Command Line Parameters for Macintosh Client

Ryan Dancey
This tip is for our Macintosh players using the OSX client. People using the Windows client need a different set of instructions. (Here are those instructions).

OSX does not have a very smooth way of passing an application command line parameters. But like all UNIX-derived systems, OSX does permit them, and we do use a few of them.

You can use the following command line parameters:

-quality x
Where "x" is any of the listed settings in the UI (i.e. fast, simple, etc.)

-resolution x
Where "x" is any of the listed resolutions in the UI (i.e. 800x600, 1024x768, etc.)

-windowed x
Where "x" is true or false

You can use all three of these parameters at the same time or you can use them individually:


-quality simple -resolution 1024x768 -windowed false


-quality fast

The tricky part is how to pass these parameters to the application.

To do this you need to have a little familiarity with the Terminal application and with some UNIX commands. OSX hides all this stuff from you on purpose because its very arcane and not very user friendly. You also have to know a little bit about how OSX applications are structured.


OSX apps are actually directories of files. On Windows, an application is a single file but in OSX it's a directory that contains not only code but resources, configuration files, icons, and all sorts of other things. You can reference those assets just like any other file in any other directory.

The following commands assume that you have installed the program into the normal OSX Applications folder. If you put it somewhere else you'll need to modify the path to the application as necessary.

Step 1: Make A Launcher File

Open TextEdit, and paste in the following:
#! /bin/bash
/Applications/\ Online commandlineparameters &
Put whatever parameters you want to use in place of commandlineparameters. Don't forget the trailing & symbol. Ensure there's an extra line at the bottom of the text.

Save this file to your Desktop as run_pathfinder.command

Step 2: Make the Launcher File work

The file you just created is still just a plain text file. We need to tell OSX that it should be treated like a program.

Open Terminal. Welcome to UNIX. smile

You need to change to the Desktop directory. Type this command:

cd ~/Desktop

To verify that you're in the right place, type this command:

ls -al

You should see the names of the files and folders that you have placed on your Desktop (and a bunch of other stuff that OSX keeps hidden from you). One of the files you should see is run_pathfinder.command

We need to change the permissions of this file to enable OSX to run it like a program. Type this command:

chmod +x run_pathfinder.command

Close the Terminal app. (Whew! No more UNIX!)

Run the App

If you double click on the run_pathfinder.command file on your Desktop, a terminal window will open and you'll see a brief expanding window animation, and after a second or two the application will start. It should process the command line parameters and run with the settings you've provided.

If you get an error message in that terminal window it may help diagnose a problem, like an incorrect path to the application program. You should be able to use that info to alter the contents of run_pathfinder.command if necessary. You don't have to chmod +x it again unless you trash the file and need to start over.
I would like to see the windows instructions.
I managed to call the Mac client with varying resolution settings using the -resolution parameter. Unfortunately, my client was installed at a very different path than the example and it was proving problematic to attempt to create a command file with proper directory pathing so I did not use a command file from the desktop - I simply found the client and invoked it via the command line from that local directory.

To go somewhat off topic (but to address why I was interested in changing the graphics settings in the first place) - as it it turns out, trying to change graphics quality did not fix my problem (I was getting the rainbow pinwheel spiral of death within seconds of the in-game client starting and that behavior continued).

HOWEVER - the good news is that I have now run successfully 3x in a row. What worked for me was to move the application to the trash, empty the trash, and re-install the client using PFO_Installer_EE_1_0-2.pkg. The installer downloaded remarkably fast at my work location, and patched remarkably fast as well, and now the game seems to run fine using the "Fast" graphics setting. When I get bold, I will try changing the setting to something different and will report any meaningful results.
Hedrik Holiday
er, actually, there is no "Pathfinder Online" file in - it is just called "" - and as an application, it also has a Contents/MacOS directory which contains "Pathfinder Online"

Also of note is that this bypasses the Patcher.
Hedrik Holiday
And if you really want to use a GUI to make the permissions change, just do a 'get info' on the file in the Finder… ;-) You say 'UNIX' like it's a bad thing…
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