Does OS X do runlevels?

jeremy.king

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
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Essentially, can I run OS X (Tiger) in a multi-user text based mode similar to linux?

I am planning to turn the mini into a headless development server and don't need the overhead of all the GUI stuff running and don't want to hassle with installing linux. I'd still prefer to use launchd to startup my services...

Of course, I will have to get a MacBook first before any of this happens. :)
 

robbieduncan

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Jul 24, 2002
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I'm fairly certain you can boot OSX to a text console. But it's not done via RunLevels!

If you can't running the login window does not take any significant amount of CPU time. It will take some RAM but not a lot. Simply enable the ssh server and away you go!
 

jeremy.king

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Jul 23, 2002
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robbieduncan said:
If you can't running the login window does not take any significant amount of CPU time.
Doesn't the WindowServer and its children, not to mention Finder actually load before you even login. I'll have to check.
 

mduser63

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Nov 9, 2004
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kingjr3 said:
Doesn't the WindowServer and its children, not to mention Finder actually load before you even login. I'll have to check.
I don't think so. At least it doesn't seem like they do, based on the wait time for Finder to load and the menubar to be populated after I log in.
 

MisterMe

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Jul 17, 2002
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kingjr3 said:
Yes, I could but thats just another OS - something I am trying to avoid. ;)
Darwin is not another OS. It is the CLI-based OS which is the foundation of MacOS X. It is what you run when you boot into single-user mode. It is what you run the Terminal. With a few exceptions, Darwin is the OS that you run when you use X11-based apps.
 

yellow

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Oct 21, 2003
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I think what he meant is that installing OpenDarwin would mean a wipe/partition/reinstall of everything in order to get it running. And I suspct he just wanted to see what could be done with a vanilla Tiger install.
 

jeremy.king

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MisterMe said:
Darwin is not another OS. It is the CLI-based OS which is the foundation of MacOS X. It is what you run when you boot into single-user mode. It is what you run the Terminal. With a few exceptions, Darwin is the OS that you run when you use X11-based apps.
Im well aware of what Darwin is...Ultimately its another OS, different conventions, different commands...Would you argue that all the Linux versions are the same OS since they use the same kernel? I wouldn't

Back on topic - allow me to clarify - I don't want to re-install anything if I don't need to.

I have found old hacks for OS X, such as this one but I don't know if it applies anymore. My hope was that someone is already doing this in Tiger and happens to read this post...
 

Makosuke

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Aug 15, 2001
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kingjr3 said:
Doesn't the WindowServer and its children, not to mention Finder actually load before you even login. I'll have to check.
I'm 99.9% sure that Finder is spawned only for specific user logins; it is just an app, after all, and multiple simultaneous logins spawn multiple copies of it, so I can't imagine why (or even how) it would load at the login screen.

I'm not as certain about WindowServer; it might be required to draw the login window, and it doesn't run as any user.
 

jepjepjep

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2004
36
0
Yes, you can boot to command line

Yes, you can boot to the console with OS X for a server environment. That is exactly how I use my mac mini (http://papac.homeip.net) running Tiger. My system boots directly to the console without launching the gui. I have a startaqua script in my home directory that will start the gui.

It's fairly easy to do, but it does not use runlevels like linux. Just follow the steps here:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030716220410216&query=/etc/ttys

I'm not sure how to get virtual consoles like a linux box, but you can use ssh to remote login multiuser.


kingjr3 said:
Essentially, can I run OS X (Tiger) in a multi-user text based mode similar to linux?

I am planning to turn the mini into a headless development server and don't need the overhead of all the GUI stuff running and don't want to hassle with installing linux. I'd still prefer to use launchd to startup my services...

Of course, I will have to get a MacBook first before any of this happens. :)
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
5,479
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Fuquay Varina, NC
jepjepjep said:
Yes, you can boot to the console with OS X for a server environment. That is exactly how I use my mac mini (http://papac.homeip.net) running Tiger. My system boots directly to the console without launching the gui. I have a startaqua script in my home directory that will start the gui.

It's fairly easy to do, but it does not use runlevels like linux. Just follow the steps here:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030716220410216&query=/etc/ttys

I'm not sure how to get virtual consoles like a linux box, but you can use ssh to remote login multiuser.
jep^3, thats similar to what I have been seeing. Knowing that this is how you do it makes me feel more confident.

Thanks.
 

jeremy.king

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
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jepjepjep said:
Doesn't seem to work in Tiger. Reading the other comments in that thread indicated others have the same problem. My "Starting Mac OS X" screen just keeps going... I even let it run for about 15 mins. I think thats just how you do it in Jag/Panther.

Of course, like a bonehead, I forgot that in single-user mode that the filesystem mounts readonly. A quick google and I remembered you have to do a 'mount -uw /' command to remount the root with write permissions...Just a quick tip in case someone stumbles on this.

Also, I think that Apple was going back to a more traditional runlevel approach to startup...I have some research to do.
 

jepjepjep

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2004
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0
I'm running Tiger. Here is my uname output.

$ uname -a

Darwin nazgul.local 8.6.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.6.0: Tue Mar 7 16:58:48 PST 2006; root:xnu-792.6.70.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc

Did you enable verbose booting (sudo nvram boot-args="-v")? Maybe the graphical boot process is hiding the console prompt.

Here is my /etc/ttys: http://papac.homeip.net/files/ttys

One more thing, when you get to the console you have to start the window server with root privelages.

Hope this helps.

Good luck!





kingjr3 said:
Doesn't seem to work in Tiger. Reading the other comments in that thread indicated others have the same problem. My "Starting Mac OS X" screen just keeps going... I even let it run for about 15 mins. I think thats just how you do it in Jag/Panther.

Of course, like a bonehead, I forgot that in single-user mode that the filesystem mounts readonly. A quick google and I remembered you have to do a 'mount -uw /' command to remount the root with write permissions...Just a quick tip in case someone stumbles on this.

Also, I think that Apple was going back to a more traditional runlevel approach to startup...I have some research to do.