I'm looking to turn an old Mac laptop into a "car-puter". However, I don't want to drain the battery on either the laptop or the car. Is there a way to configure it so that the computer automatically wakes up when plugged into power? (I know that it can be woken via ethernet, but I don't know how I can turn that to my advantage.)

My specific use case is a late-model PowerBook G4 running 10.5, but I'm also curious about whether this can be done with other models or OS versions. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


As you indicated, this does depend on the specifics of the hardware - but the pmset acwake command is used to read or change the intended wake on power change status for a Mac.

The man page for pmset goes into some detail how to use this command line tool to change settings.

I couldn't find a reference that calls out which models work with this setting - you may have to experiment or do some more research.

  • pmset looks like it may fit the bill, thanks! I've also updated the question with a link to the PowerBook model I'm using. Aug 22, 2011 at 19:40

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