View Full Version : How to disable Aqua? (Old iBook G4 Turned into Server)

07-29-2008, 10:09 AM
I have decided to turn my old iBook G4 into a server for me to play around on. There are a few problems, the first of which is: It only has 256MB of RAM, so I would like to be able to disable Aqua, but with the ability to still launch it, in order to save on Memory resources.

Secondly: I have tried booting into Single-User mode and there are two problems with this, it gives me root access, which I think is unnecessary and potential dangerous. The biggest problem though, is that I need to connect to my Wireless Network from the console if I am able to boot up without Aqua.

Help is appreciated,

07-29-2008, 03:34 PM
Disable Aqua? But with the ability to still launch it? That's quite a bit of serious surgery. I hesitate to use the word "impossible", since I'm sure it is possible, but it would take many hours of work by an expert.

The closest that you can easily get to your goal is to have a dual-boot situation, with OS X on one drive (or one drive partition if you've got a large enough drive) and either Linux or Darwin on another. Then you can boot to Linux or Darwin for serving, and boot to OS X when you wanted to enable Aqua.

A FireWire drive would work well for the second volume, and in fact would probably be faster than the internal 2.5" drive in the iBook.


07-29-2008, 03:35 PM
This may not work, since it is PowerPC, I don't have to disable it permanetly I could do it manual each time, is there perhaps a way to close aqua once you are logged in?

07-29-2008, 03:39 PM
Maybe not permanently remove it, but is there a way to shutdown Aqua after I have logged in?

07-29-2008, 06:02 PM
I recall some articles on the main macosxhints site about disabling the graphical part (Aqua) of OS X. I believe the procedure involved editing some of the Unix-level config files - the file "etc/ttys" sticks in my mind so that's a possible search term in addtion to the obvious ones like:
disable graphics
disable Aqua

I don't think you will find a way to enable/disable Aqua on the fly - i.e. after boot. As I recall, you will need to edit the config file and reboot.
OS X is designed to be a graphical environment from the start.

07-29-2008, 06:33 PM
Does aqua + loginwindow take that much in the way of resources? I use headless mac servers all the time with no surgery...just leave them alone with nobody logged in on console.

However, /etc/ttys is indeed the place where the unix startup sequence decides what to run on the console, which by default is the loginwindow environment (aqua, etc). The "ttys" manpage looks good. Beware, you can seriously hose your system here!

Back in the old days (OS X 10.2) you could easily set it to start up in a "pure" x11 world with gdm or some other x11 login manager (or I assume some text-mode thing). Alternately, from the aqua login, you could use a username of...um..."console>" maybe can't remember...to get a pure console text login ("probably not the most secure thing to do" if anyone at all else has physical access to the machine!). I don't know if that killed off the aqua graphics subsystem or just gave a text-console overlay on it, and I'd heard it no longer works in newer OS X.

07-29-2008, 06:39 PM
Only other thing is how to connect to my WIFI network through a shel..