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Booting into the Darwin Kernel

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This comment was posted on the web site, but I wanted to post it here too in case anyone missed it.

Comment on booting into the UNIX shell interface (as one of the listeners asked):

 

two ways. Easiest, in Accounts preferences, set the login window to display “name and password”. Now, when you boot the machine, enter the username “>console” and you’ll be dropped to the Darwin console. Note, this does *NOT* work if you’ve got to the login window through user switching.

 

More permanent, open up a terminal and edit the file /etc/ttys as root, e.g.:

sudo pico /etc/ttys

Two lines are of interest; the two that have the word console. Here’s how they look by default:

#console “/usr/libexec/getty std.57600″ vt100 on secure

console “/System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow” vt100 on secure onoption=”/usr/libexec/getty std.9600″

all you need to do is remove the hash (I’m British, pound sign if you like from the first line and put one at the beginning of the second line, so you end up with:

console “/usr/libexec/getty std.57600″ vt100 on secure

#console “/System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow” vt100 on secure onoption=”/usr/libexec/getty std.9600″

now every time you boot you will be at the Darwin console. Saves a lot of RAM if you’re using a Mac as a server

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Presumably you just type 'logout' to get back to the login screen?

And, I was wondering, does the Darwin console have multiple 'virtual' consoles for multiple logins?

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Presumably you just type 'logout' to get back to the login screen?

Or type "exit" or type control-D at an empty prompt.

 

And, I was wondering, does the Darwin console have multiple 'virtual' consoles for multiple logins?

Oh, that would be sweet. I don't think it's the case, though. For those who don't understand: under some Unix systems (certainly Linux, and i think the various BSDs), if you are not using the graphical (X Windows) desktop, you can use alt-F1/F2/F3 etc to switch between multiple login sessions. This can be quite useful, letting you log in to one as "root" and another as yourself. You can even get fancy and have different ANSI colours for your prompt/background colours.

 

I still pine for multiple desktops in MacOS X. They would be like a super-exposé. Hm, I think I will go over to VersionTracker and try out the current crop (Space.Dock, Desktop Manager, CodeTek VirtualDesktop, Virtue, Virtual Desktops, Workspaces, You Control Desktops) and maybe do a review for Adam. Ya, dat's the ticket..

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Thanks. I'll try it out first-hand at some point. But I'm sure installing GNU screen would provide a similar effect.

 

I'd also like to have virtual desktops, but until now I've found Exposé to render it nearly redundant. By the way, is it possible to run a full-screen X11 window manager over Mac OS X? Is that a viable alternative to a virtual desktop plugin?

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