Reading and interpreting boot messages

derekjohnston

Registered
I'm new to macs and OSX and would like to learn more about what's going on at bootup and tweak a bit.

I've turned on verbose bootup but the messages aren't on screen long enough to be useful. I've found dmesg but it seems to have so little of the display. How can I review what is happening and make intelligent decisions about my system?

DJ
 

earthsaver

Ben R.
What concerns you about how your system currently behaves? You might be able to gather some startup messages from Console.
 

derekjohnston

Registered
This isn't about fixing something broken. How long should my mac take to boot? Maybe I'm loading unnecessary services that could be disabled for speedier boot time. I don't own a printer so printer services would never be needed.

Admittedly, I come from the Windows world where tweaking and benchmarking are a favorite past time. During the boot process, I see messages that certain programs failed on load and others warn that a setting has timed out. I want to step through the startup messages and understand what is happening and why I'm getting the response that I am.

Code:
Previous Shutdown Cause: 3
IGPU: family specific matching fails
AppleTyMCEDriver::probe(MacBookPro5,1)
AppleTyMCEDriver::probe fails
GFX0: family specific matching fails
AGC: 2.8.15, HW version=1.7.3, flags:0, features:1
GFX0: family specific matching fails
IGPU: family specific matching fails
GFX0: family specific matching fails
IGPU: family specific matching fails
This might be a normal series of messages but I have no way of knowing. I'd like to educate myself on what is going on.

dj
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
Those messages are normal.

There is usually no need to shut down Macs as often as you'd have to shutdown a peecee with a Windows OS to keep that up and running without hiccups. Just place the Mac to sleep if not needed overnight etc. I usually even fly withe the Macs on sleep mode - much faster to open and continue working.

How much RAM do you have?
 

earthsaver

Ben R.
And for reference, how long is your Mac taking to start up? The Macs I work with normally take about a minute including login. Most of them have 4GB of RAM.

After a power outage yesterday afternoon, I decided to use it as an opportunity to calibrate my MacBook Pro's battery. Before the shutdown that occurred in there, my Mac had been up for about three weeks straight without slowdown. As Giaguara notes, this is normal for modern Macs and UNIX is designed to be up for weeks or months without requiring a restart because it does such a good job maintaining itself with periodic routines and so forth.
 

derekjohnston

Registered
I have 4 Gig of RAM and it takes 63 seconds to boot to a logon prompt.

But you've missed the point of the question that I've asked. I want to know where I can find a complete list of the messages from logon and is there a good reference/faq/resource on what it all means. I've located the system log and it seems to have most of the startup messages. If something does go wrong, I'd like to be able to review the system log and understand what it is that broke.

dj
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
In order to understand how Mac OS X boots up, you need to understand how the FreeBSD distribution of UNIX boots up (since Mac OS X is FreeBSD "under the hood").

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/books/handbook/boot.html

Of course, Mac always customizes and introduces a few new things on top of the default FreeBSD stuff, so this would be a good place to start for that:

http://www.opensource.apple.com/

It's going to be nearly impossible for you to understand, tweak, modify or disable any of the processes without a working knowledge of UNIX. Do you have a working knowledge of UNIX? If not, it may be prudent to start your quest for knowledge with a basic tutorial on UNIX, then move on from there.
 
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