I am having problems running the /usr/bin/purge commands on my iMac with Lion since the last upgrade. Someone suggested me that I may be running in safe mode and asked me to type "nvram -p" on terminal. According to this person, I should have any variable listed, but I have these:

efi-apple-recovery (an array)
System AudioVolume

Each variable assigned to a bunch of stuff, specially the first and the third. Is this what I should see typing nvram -p on terminal?


  • It would surely be easier to reset your NVRAM at boot if you wanted to clear the safe boot flag (as well as other things like timezone and volume at boot) Why not ask your purge question as a stand alone question since what does nvram -p look like is really not related to how purge works. Safe Mode simply runs some extra checks and doesn't load non-apple extensions / non-critical extensions. The ability to request a flush of data to disk really doesn't change in normal versus safe mode, so the premise of your question seems oddly unrelated. – bmike Nov 29 '11 at 18:06

If your NVRAM was set to boot into safe mode, you need a boot-args variable set to -x.

  • Safe mode on: sudo nvram boot-args="-x"
  • Safe + verbose mode on: sudo nvram boot-args="-x -v"
  • Clear verbose and safe flags: sudo nvram boot-args=""

The details on these settings are straight from Apple Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode.

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