Two common uses of Single User Mode are repairing a disk with fsck and changing an admin password , or other troubleshooting tasks. Single User Mode and Recovery Terminal are really best for troubleshooting and is not an appropriate environment for more generic command line interactions, but the direct Console login can be used just like you would the Terminal app.
Feel free to report in the comments below if you have success with this or not, and your version of system software. If you attempt to load the Console from login screen on an unsupported Mac, you will either just see a blank black screen which appears to be inescapable, requiring you to forcibly reboot the Mac , or you will briefly see a flash of white text on the black screen, and then a blank black screen that also requires a reboot to escape.
If you know of a way around this, share with us in the comments.
Note you must have automatic login turned off on the Mac, otherwise you will not have access to the login screen on boot from which to access the console. Remember, not all versions of Mac OS support this feature. Assuming you successfully logged into the login Console, you will have full access to everything you would in a normal Terminal environment, but without any of the Mac OS graphical interface. You can exit out of this environment by rebooting from the command line with the shutdown or reboot commands. MacWorld referenced the secret login Terminal some time ago and uncovered discussion of the trick from way back in , suggesting that the console login may work in all earlier versions of Mac OS X but not in the most recent versions.
To find out definitively what versions support the capability, user exploration in a wide variety of more recent Mac OS releases would be necessary.
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I was able to successfully access Terminal via the login console on a Mac running Mavericks, but not on a Mac running High Sierra or Sierra, for example. Share your experience in the comments below, and if you know any other tips or tricks relating to the little known login terminal screen, share those too.
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Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. I have tried it on later releases like Sierra and it registers something clearly but it does not enter a usable console, it returns you back to the login screen instead. Defeats the purpose. I was hoping that this had returned but it sounds like it continues to be for the elder system releases.
I will try this later in macOS Mojave and see if I can find a method to return the functionality, reporting back any positive findings. This is unfortunate but not too surprising. Old feature that was deprecated maybe? For security reasons, I assume. Maybe if WindowServer is not loaded, console could be accessed at login? Or I wonder if there is dscl option to allow a specific user direct console access at login.
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Would be interesting. Any insight of Mac sysadmins?
I have set boot to verbose mode, so without verbose mode, it might just be a black screen. There are a number of different shells that can run Unix commands, and on the Mac Bash is the one used by Terminal. If you want to make the window bigger, click on the bottom right corner and drag it outwards. The quickest way to get to know Terminal and understand how it works is to start using it. To run a command, you just type it at the cursor and hit Return to execute.
Every command is made up of three elements: You should now see a list of all the files in your Documents folder — ls is the command for listing files. To see a list of all the commands available in Terminal, hold down the Escape key and then press y when you see a question asking if you want to see all the possibilities.
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To see more commands, press Return. Unix has its own built-in manual. So, to learn more about a command type man [name of command] , where "command" is the name of the command you want find out more about. Firstly, every character matters, including spaces. If you want to re-run a command, tap the up arrow key until you reach it, then press Return. Commands are always executed in the current location.
How to Access a Terminal at Login Screen in Mac OS
Use the cd command, followed by a directory path, like in Step 1 above, to specify the folder where you want a command to run. There is another way to specify a location: Now save it to the TerminalTest folder in your Documents folder. Now type ls and you should see "TerminalTestFile" listed. That will change the name of the file to "TerminalTestFile2".
You can, of course, use any name you like.
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The mv command means "move" and you can also use it to move files from one directory to another. Terminal can be used for all sorts of different tasks. Some of them can be performed in the Finder, but are quicker in Terminal. Here are a few examples. In a Terminal window, type d itto [folder 1] [folder 1] where "folder 1" is the folder that hosts the files and "folder 2" is the folder you want to move them to.