PLUTIL(1) General Commands Manual PLUTIL(1)
plutil – property list utility
plutil [command_option] [other_options] file
plutil can be used to check the syntax of property list files, or convert a
plist file from one format to another. Specifying - as an input file reads
The first argument indicates the operation to perform, one of:
-help Show the usage information for the command and exit.
-p Print the property list in a human-readable fashion. The
output format is not stable and not designed for machine
parsing. The purpose of this command is to be able to easily
read the contents of a plist file, no matter what format it
-lint Check the named property list files for syntax errors. This
is the default command option if none is specified.
-convert fmt Convert the named file to the indicated format and write back
to the file system. If the file can't be loaded due to
invalid syntax, the operation fails. This is the only option
to support objc swift formats.
-convert objc -header
Converts the named file to Obj-C literal syntax and creates a
.h file. Useful for first time conversions to literal syntax
and only supported with the objc format.
-insert keypath -type [value] [-append]
Insert a value into the property list before writing it out.
value is required unless type is dictionary or array. If
-append is specified, keypath is expected to reference an
array and the value will be appended to the end of the array.
-replace keypath -type value
Overwrite an existing value in the property list before
writing it out.
Removes the value at keypath from the property list before
writing it out.
-extract keypath fmt [-expect expect_type]
Outputs the value at keypath in the property list as a new
plist of type fmt. Optionally fails if -expect expect_type
is used and the value at keypath does not match that type.
-type keypath [-expect expect_type]
Outputs the type of the value at keypath in the property
list. Optionally fails if -expect expect_type is used and the
value at keypath does not match that type.
-create fmt Creates an empty plist of the specified fmt.
There are a few additional options:
-- Specifies that all further arguments are file names
-n When used with -extract using the raw format, will not print
a terminating newline character. This aids use in shell
-s Don't print anything on success.
-r For JSON, add whitespace and indentation to make the output
more human-readable and sort the keys like -p, does.
-o path Specify an alternate path name for the result of the -convert
operation; this option is only useful with a single file to
be converted. Specifying - as the path outputs to stdout.
-e extension Specify an alternate extension for converted files, and the
output file names are otherwise the same.
fmt is one of:
xml1 for version 1 of the XML plist format
binary1 for version 1 of the binary plist format
json for the JSON format
swift to convert from plist to swift literal syntax
objc to convert from plist to Obj-C literal syntax
raw when used with -extract, will print the unencapsulated value
at the keypath. See RAW VALUES AND EXPECTED TYPES below. The
result will be output to stdout unless -o is specified.
keypath is a key-value coding key path, with one extension: a numerical
path component applied to an array will act on the object at that index in
the array or insert it into the array if the numerical path component is
the last one in the key path.
type is one of:
-bool YES if passed "YES" or "true", otherwise NO
-integer any valid 64 bit integer
-float any valid 64 bit float
-string UTF8 encoded string
-date date in XML property list format, not supported if
-data a base-64 encoded string
-xml an XML property list, useful for inserting compound
-json JSON fragment, useful for inserting compound values
-array An empty array, when used with -insert. Does not
accept a value.
-dictionary An empty dictionary, when used with -insert Does not
accept a value.
value will be assigned to the keypath specified with the -insert or
RAW VALUES AND EXPECTED TYPES
With -extract keypath raw the value printed depends on its type.
Following are the possible expect_type values and how they will be printed
when encountered with -extract keypath raw
bool the string "true" or "false"
integer the numeric value
float the floating point value with no specific precision
string the raw unescaped string, UTF8-encoded
date the RFC3339-encoded string representation in UTC time
data a base64-encoded string representation of the data
array a number indicating the count of elements in the array
dictionary each key in the dictionary will be printed on a new
line in alpha-sorted order
The above expect_type string is itself printed when -type keypath is used.
The plutil command exits 0 on success, and 1 on failure.
The plutil command obeys no one's rules but its own.
The plutil command first appeared in macOS 10.2.
The raw format type, -type command, -expect option, and -append option
first appeared in macOS 12.
macOS March 29, 2021 macOS