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I'm having an issue with my Mac where it's freezing on the initial login.

How can I enable ssh without using going into system preferences, etc.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

systemsetup -setremotelogin on

I got this from the templates in Apple Remote Desktop.

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Of course you have to login to run this in a terminal. If you can't even get that far you can boot to single-user mode by holding Apple-S. From there you should be able to mount your root partition (directions are given on the console when you start single-user mode) and run the systemsetup command. – Cocoabean May 24 '11 at 21:10

Rather late ..but perhaps useful for anyone facing a similar issue and finding this. Especially when your can't apply cocoabean's anwer, because remote login is disabled (…);

If loginwindow shows username- and password-textfields, then in the username field type:


followed by ↩ (enter/return).

This will drop you straight into a login-prompt in an interactive shell on the local machine.

And i believe that the WindowServer actually gets killed in this scenario, making it even impossible for GUI-apps to run at all.

In case your loginwindow shows the list of users and ends with an "Other…"-option, clicking that will also get you to the two textfields-view with the.

If you can't enter the >console through the login-window, you can use single-user mode by booting with ⌘-S (comman) keys pressed.

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