Problems with console-mode on MacOSX


I recently got a MacMini which I immediately put into service as a Web Server. Of course, they ship with only 256MB, so turning off the GUI was interesting to me in order to leave as much memory for Apache as possible. I pretty quickly came across the "nvram boot-args=-v" to avoid the GUI boot. I had originally used an auto-login of ">console" to drop the loginwindow, which was quite useful, and eventually came upon editing /etc/ttys to avoid loginwindow altogether (which saves even more memory). I've been keeping notes on this on my Wiki at (which is served up by my MacMini, BTW).

What I've run into in the last few days is that the /etc/ttys method (of avoiding LoginWindow) leaves a freshly-installed machine unusable (can't log in). See my notes for more details. On a machine that's been installed for a while (I did this on my old Wallstreet PowerBook without incident), using the /etc/ttys method (described in my notes on the Wiki) is fine. On a cleanly installed machine (using a G4/500 for my testing), editing /etc/ttys to change the console makes logging in impossible.

So, any clues as to what's going on with a freshly-installed machine? I messed around with an older iMac yesterday to try to figure it out, but nothing I did seemed to help. Then, just to add to the fun, it started working after a few hours. In my notes, I mention "niutil -resync ." as a possible solution, but it didn't repro on my G4.

Yeah, I know it's a lot of text to read through, but I'm really puzzled by this...