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Enter console mode from login screen System
If in the Login preferences panel, you have enabled the setting to enter the username with the keyboard, enter ">console" (no quotes) and you'll get to a classic UNIX type login screen.

After you've logged out of this screen, if you press Control and Eject the usual login screen appears!

Probably not that useful but maybe somebody will find a use for it.

[Editor's note: I thought this had been posted here before, but I sure couldn't find it with a search.]
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Enter console mode from login screen | 23 comments | Create New Account
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caused me to freeze
Authored by: normcook on Mar 18, '02 02:38:59AM

my keyboard doesnt have a specific eject button, it uses f12 for this. so when i wanted aqua back and i hit control + f12, it caused my machine to freeze...anyone else try this?

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New tip?
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 18, '02 02:58:11AM

I tried the control-eject key command and it apparently emulates the power button, at least when X is booted.

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Authored by: meancode on Mar 18, '02 05:48:50AM

im pretty sure if you just type 'exit' you will be plopped back to aqua.

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Authored by: ruffkess on Mar 18, '02 08:24:53AM

This is extremely useful in a server environment. Assuming that the machine is primarily managed and monitored remotely, there is no need for the aqua overhead.

This allows you to free up valuable RAM and processor cycles on your server.

To exit you can also type control-D to logout (standard *nix)

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Authored by: babbage on Mar 18, '02 11:51:59AM
Exactly. I've also been using this trick to free up CPU cycles when doing computationally intensive work like building software from source. for example, it takes hours to build some of the packages from Fink, and shutting down the display environment should make this go a little bit faster, so I routinely do it while logged in at the console rather than Aqua.

If the >console trick really documented anywhere though? Are there other ones like it? In my nightmares I picture a >windows login that would drop you into that accursed other environment..... :) :) :)

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Authored by: sharumpe on Mar 18, '02 06:30:37PM

There are two others that I am aware of:

Mr. Sharumpe

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Authored by: Dale Mox on Apr 21, '03 09:56:19AM

>power to power down your system

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Doesn't work in panther
Authored by: jbiediger on Oct 30, '03 07:15:11PM

I get hung up at a blue screen when I try this.

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Authored by: kerim on Mar 18, '02 10:01:44AM

When I was installing X-11 the instructions referred to this, but I couldn't figure out how to do it! I since learned how to launch X-Window in rootless mode so I didn't need to, but it is good to know how to do it. Thanks!

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Other loginwindow commands
Authored by: clindberg on Mar 18, '02 12:29:20PM

In addition to ">console", you can put in ">exit" (it will restart the loginwindow app and maybe the window server, I forget), ">power" (powers down the machine), and ">restart" (restarts the machine).

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Logout with...
Authored by: Mithrandir on Mar 18, '02 02:22:24PM

Type Control+D, exit, or logout.

Control F12 or Control Eject is not the right way to do it.


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How do you stop it?
Authored by: geoffc on Mar 18, '02 03:27:37PM

To me, the most important question is, how do you disable this 'feature'? Not something I want available in a lab situation...

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How do you stop it?
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 18, '02 03:42:29PM

System Prefs:Login:Login Window, disable check box for
"show other user". Although frankly I don't see any security risk on this. You still have to enter a username/pass combo to login, so this is no less (or more) secure than using the same username/pass to log into the gui.

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How do you stop it?
Authored by: a1291762 on Mar 18, '02 05:54:18PM

That helps if you're on graphical user selection...

If you just have the name/password boxes you need to disable "Restart and Shutdown from login panel" which is in the login part of the System prefs.

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Infinite Scroll
Authored by: gnarled on Mar 18, '02 06:57:29PM

I have a weird bug when I am in >console mode. After using it for a short period of time >1 minute it starts doing tripple lines after each command I enter, then suddenly it starts scrolling down the screen and the screen becomes blank I have not figured out how to get out of this no prompt state besides restarting (button) or SSH'ing in from another computer on my lan. Any Ideas?

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deja vu
Authored by: JayBee on Mar 18, '02 09:00:23PM

Well, this has to be here SOMEWHERE already, as I've been using this for ages.

I remember using it last summer to scare the pants off an old-skool mac user who hadn't seen a mac since System 7. He looked pretty terrified as screenloads of text flew by on my iBook ;-)

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Authored by: JayBee on Mar 18, '02 09:03:09PM
Okay, I wasn't imagining things: result of search for ">console"

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Using X11?
Authored by: clmensch on Mar 19, '02 01:22:10AM

X-Darwin works well for me within aqua, but for some reason I can't get it to work in console mode. I've played with some settings (like removing the -quartz switch from the startx script), but it won't start the server. Anyone got pointers on getting this to work?

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Enter console mode from login screen
Authored by: nitefall on Jun 08, '05 12:04:12AM

Interestingly when I enter [code]>[/code]console mode I get the following message across the top of the screen

"getty: /dev/console: Operation not supported by device"

followed by a blinking cursor on the line below. I can type what ever I want and I get nothing back other than the echo on the screen. After a short time (maybe 30 secs) it times out and returns me to the login window.

Any ideas??

I wonder if I found some hack to disable this mode under Panther and it followed through to Tiger...

I just don't remember.

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Enter console mode from login screen
Authored by: GlowingApple on Jun 08, '05 05:15:53PM

Are you using Tiger? I had used this hint a number of times on Panther, but it seems that Tiger does not allow this. I get the exact same error.

Jayson --When Microsoft asks you, "Where do you want to go today?" tell them "Apple."

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Enter console mode from login screen
Authored by: ugascottl on Jun 22, '05 11:48:19PM

I have tiger, and i had previously 10.2 and 10.3. I did use the [code]>[/code]console mode in 10.3, i don't remember if it worked in 10.2 or not.. But now that I have upgraded to tiger, it says the same error message and does the same thing in 30 seconds. So maybe they have it disabled somewhere now..hmm. I do like the power, restart, exit however. It might be used to compromise a system it seems.

Anyways, does anyone know how to allow console login on tiger from the login screen?

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Enter console mode from login screen
Authored by: LindaPinda on Jul 14, '10 09:33:54PM

I've been trying to enter >console at the login screen for a while, over several occasions, but it will never work. Any tips?

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Enter console mode from login screen
Authored by: LindaPinda on Jul 14, '10 09:41:10PM

After much frustration, I answered my own question. If your Mac is on, you need to restart it to bypass the graphical interface using >console at the login screen. Logging out and back in doesn't work!

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