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Is there a way to trigger the lid close action programmatically with a script or through terminal?

I am testing this by placing a small magnet near the SD slot on my MacBook Pro.

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    Does it have to be a "lid close action" specifically, or are you looking to programmatically put the machine to sleep? Commented Dec 10, 2013 at 19:18

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There is no Apple supported programming interface to simulate the lid being closed.

You can put your Mac to sleep using this command line:

osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to sleep'
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  • Thanks for the answer, i was actually trying to get my mac to use external display as primary only. Upgrading to OSX Mavericks solved all my issues and it was free. Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 2:30
  • @louisinhongkong how did you get into clamshell mode without closing your laptop?! I'm on sierra
    – Pavan
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 22:52
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You may put your machine to sleep with a shell script:

pmset sleepnow

P.S. If you intend to run this from a script, be prepared that machine won't sleep until script finishes, and if that's something like a daemon running in a loop, it won't ever work unless you run pmset in a subshell:

(pmset sleepnow &)

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