I have a spare 2007 iMac which I'm using to display photos in my house. The iMac is set to boot & shutdown automatically at scheduled times, and display photos from my library using the screensaver.

Everything works well except that the iMac won't turn the display on at boot time without a keyboard connected. I can force the display on by connecting remotely, after which it remains on (I had to use sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement RestoreMachineState -bool NO to stop the display turning back off after the Remote Desktop session disconnects).

How do I force the display to come on at boot or login time (don't mind which) without needing a keyboard connected? I suspect something from pmset (e.g. pmset displaysleep 0) would do the trick but nothing so far.

2 Answers 2


Running caffeinate -u after booting should do the trick.

This simulates a user activity which wakes up the display if it is asleep.

  • That wakes the display up & shows the lock screen, but after the timeout it turns off again. Aug 29, 2017 at 18:29
  • Maybe that happens because of pmset displaysleep 0? You could specify the duration of the user activity with caffeinate -ut 86400 where 86400 is the time in seconds but that wouldn't be a very "clean" solution.
    – YourMJK
    Aug 29, 2017 at 21:53

Solution was to also remove the requirement for a password after the screensaver starts (disable screen lock).

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