Under Mac OS 10.5, you could boot a fresh-out-of-the-box Mac into single user mode, mount /, set the root password, and touch .AppleSetupDone - this would allow you to log into the desktop environment as the root user without ever creating a 501 user. I've never been able to do this under 10.6 or 10.7, however. Has anyone been able to do this without first creating a traditional user account?

Many thanks!

  • what happens when you boot into single user mode when you first start up after the initial clean install?
    – tkone
    Nov 30, 2011 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


You can still use SUM by holding Cmd + S when booting up. If I recall correctly from the last time I did it, that should automatically give you root.

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