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macOS - Determine CPU and Architecture in Terminal

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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2556
Topic starter  
  • What architecture is your Mac running?

Use “uname -m” (reports x86_64 on my Intel Mac Pro) or Arm (reports arm64 on an Apple M1).

// Intel Mac Pro
$ uname -m

// Apple M1 Max
$ uname -m

Alternative, even though the output is a little sloppy:

Use “arch” command is useful to determine Intel (reports i386 on my Mac Pro) or Arm (reports arm64 on M1).
(Note: This is the same output as “uname -p”.)

As you can see "i386" for a 64 bit Xeon CPU is a little sloppy, right?

// Intel Mac Pro
$ arch

// Apple M1 Max
$ arch



  • What processor is your mac running?

Use "sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string".

Examples (Intel Mac Pro and M1 Macbook Pro):

// Intel Mac Pro:

$ sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2697 v2 @ 2.70GHz

// Apple Macbook Pro M1 Max

$ sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string
Apple M1 Max


  • What architecture is your application compiled for?

Or for the application binary itself you can use the (macOS) command line “file”.

Example (I used “*” for all files in the directory, but you can also provide a filename of course):

$ file *
somebinary1: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
somebinary2: Mach-O 64-bit executable arm64

or when 2 architectures are combined in a fat binary (Intel and Arm in this example):

$ file Somebinary3
Somebinary3: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures: [x86_64:Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
- Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64] [arm64]
Somebinary3 (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
Somebinary3 (for architecture arm64): Mach-O 64-bit executable arm64




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