Sign up ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Currently trying to use a script (preferably shell) to setup the firmware password on a fresh OSX install. I obviously found this:

which would work during a manual install, but we would like to automate this as much as possible. I can't seem to find any documentation on writing a script to setup a (dynamic) firmware password.

My question is:

Is it possible to use a script or program to setup a dynamic firmware password on OSX 10.8/10.9? If so, do you know how? Do you know of any documentation?

share|improve this question
If you're considering a firmware password, I recommend you also read this and its answers.… – zigg Jan 13 '14 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you mount the hidden "Recovery HD" partition in Terminal:

sudo diskutil mount Recovery\ HD

and then again mount the "BaseSystem.dmg" by double clicking it:

enter image description here

then you should be able to use the setregproptool, located inside "Firmware Password":

enter image description here

To get to the folder containing setregproptool right-click (or Control click) "Firmware Password", select "Show Package Contents" and navigate to Contents/Resources.

Alternatively to the description in this link:

Set a firmware password from the command line - (see post from "Sep 13, '11 05:04:00AM ")

you can copy the "Firmware Password" to a more acceptable location (for example on your local drive) and then use it from there.

These are the options of setregproptool:

$ sudo Firmware\ Password\ -h
setregproptool v 2.0 (9) Aug 24 2013
Copyright (C) 2001-2010 Apple Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Usage: setregproptool [-c] [-d [-o <old password>]] [[-m <mode> -p <password>] -o <old password>]

-c              Check whether password is enabled.
                        Sets return status of 0 if set, 1 otherwise.
-d              Delete current password/mode.
                        Requires current password on some machines.
-p              Set password.
                        Requires current password on some machines.
-m              Set security mode.
                        Requires current password on some machines.
                        Mode can be either "full" or "command".
                        Full mode requires entry of the password on
                        every boot, command mode only requires entry
                        of the password if the boot picker is invoked
                        to select a different boot device.

                When enabling the Firmware Password for the first
                time, both the password and mode must be provided.
                Once the firmware password has been enabled, providing
                the mode or password alone will change that parameter

-o              Old password.
                        Only required on certain machines to disable
                        or change password or mode. Optional, if not
                        provided the tool will prompt for the password.
share|improve this answer
Great answer! I added more information on how to mount the recovery HD and where BaseSystem.dmg and setregproptool are located. – jaume Jan 13 '14 at 21:07
If using the mode "full", which isn't possible with the GUI, the firmware password will be requested on each boot, and not only when a different boot device should be used (the mode "command" used with the GUI). – Rene Larsen Jan 13 '14 at 21:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.