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I have verbose mode turned on always so I can see if a kernel panic or some error happens. After having it on for a few times, I started to notice that most of the boot was happening after the login. I can't show a picture as it is in boot, but the login screen loads before most of the OS. This is only after a cold boot but I can't seem to find any information on this. All I want is some information on this.

EDIT: Basically, the machine starts to boot, the apple logo pops up, a small box of text scrolls down, where the rest of the monitor is not used, it shows the login screen, and after I type the password, the login screen goes away. now the whole screen is used and the rest of the machine boots up.

EDIT 2: There is no firmware password. I have not locked the firmware.

  • Sounds like a firmware password is enabled. Take a picture of the login screen with a camera, then load the picture onto the computer, and attach the picture into your question using the "edit" button and the "moon and mountains" icon in the composition box. – DavidSupportsMonica Jul 21 at 14:43
  • I can't really show the login screen right now, but I can explain what happens. Basically, the machine starts to boot, the apple logo pops up, a small box of text scrolls down, where the rest of the monitor is not used, it shows the login screen, and after I type the password, the login screen goes away. now the whole screen is used and the rest of the machine boots up. – Mason Fuller Jul 21 at 14:55
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Boot Process

Before you can be presented with a login screen, the OS must be booted. Granted, there can be "login items" which are apps or helpers that can be loaded after a user logs in, but the bulk of the OS (this includes the kernel and related drivers) has loaded by the time you get the login screen where you enter your username and password.

To simplify it, if you can log into your Mac remotely before you've entered your login credentials, your Mac has booted completely. As far as User applications that run in the GUI or get started by launchd (LaunchAgents) those will be started after you've successfully authenticated. These aren't really part of the OS, but part of the userland environment - they're not required for macOS to boot and run, but they are required for the user experience. You will see these loading on the screen in verbose mode.

The Eclectic Light Company has an excellent flowchart (below) as to the complex nature of the Apple boot process - but one thing to notice is there are a couple places for password input long before the system actually starts booting the kernel.

enter image description here

Firmware Lock

Mac computers both laptop and desktops now have heightened security and provide for a firmware lock. This protects your device in that it prevents starting up from any internal or external device that wasn't designated a startup disk.

FileVault

FileVault is Full Disk Encryption of your storage device. It's unlocked with your login password so it can appear that the boot process hasn't finished until you login (I suspect this is what you're seeing).


Typical Login Screen:

enter image description here

Firmware Lock Screen:

enter image description here

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  • Oh sorry. I have the typical lock screen. – Mason Fuller Jul 21 at 15:01
  • And I get that the OS has to be loaded. But there isn’t much logging before the boot screen pops up. I guess the kernel has to be loaded though. – Mason Fuller Jul 21 at 15:04
  • No worries... I have to save often on a phone/ipad because if I switch screens to get a link or image, I could lose everything I type. But, I hope the boot process section gets you your answer. – Allan Jul 21 at 15:19
  • If you want to test out whether the OS loads, use the SSH example in the answer. Enable "Remote Login" under sharing. You should be able to cold boot and when you see the login, using another computer (Windows/Mac/Linux) SSH into the Mac. If you can't then it's likely FileVault hasn't unlocked the disk yet and the system hasn't booted. – Allan Jul 21 at 15:26
  • I have a feeling that it’s FileVault but I’ll check when I’m able to get home – Mason Fuller Jul 21 at 17:20

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