11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2012 4:16 PM by kurtcv
andrewfrombrandon Level 1 Level 1



As per the title, is there anyway to force my iMac to show the boot options of osx/windows/recovery via a setting using terminal as my wireless keyboard doesnt always connect to the iMac at boot in time, thus holding down the option key doesnt always work.





iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Eric Fauque Level 3 Level 3

    Press option at startup and you will have the choices of systems available to boot from.


  • andrewfrombrandon Level 1 Level 1

    Yes as I said above - this doesnt always work as I have a  wireless keyboard and sometimes it doesnt connect in time.  im looking for a config file that I can modify using terminal to force the system to show this without pressing the option key,

  • Eric Fauque Level 3 Level 3

    OK sorry I missed that part.

    You can try this :http://refit.sourceforge.net/

    I think it will do what you want to do, but is seems it as not been updated since 2010.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6

    Humble opinion ...


    Keep a $7.99 special keyboard around ... just in case your wireless keyboard ever fails and you need *something*.  Most of the time you only ever need it for its "alt" key.

  • Eric Fauque Level 3 Level 3

    I agree with Steve359, having a wired keyboard and mouse around is a must when you start having problems with your machine.

  • andrewfrombrandon Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Guys


    Thanks for your suggestions.


    It still doesnt answer the question though, is it possible to modify a config to force the system to show the boot options every time I boot the machine?


    Ive used reFit before and like u say it hasnt been updated for a long time.


    Surely there must be a way of instructing the OS to show the boot discs without pressing the option key?

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6

    Personal opinion ...


    Forcing such a drastic change on a stable Apple system is more work than it is worth, with possible unexpected side-effects, makes less sese.


    Some simple and easiliy removable solutions such as a (required, by common sense) wired keyboard makes more sense.

  • andrewfrombrandon Level 1 Level 1

    @steve359 - I hardly think making the operating system show boot options without having to hold down a key at boot is such a drastic change?  Both Grub and Lilo have a boot menu, they dont go bang by showing the various operating systems available to the user. How can it be so drastic with unexpected side effects.? After all osx is built upon BSD.....


    Maybe I should be asking this question over on the BSD or linux channels - for Im getting no answer to the question, only suggestions to what I already have available.  Yes I have a wired pc keyboard available.  That wasnt what I was asking.

  • ssls6 Level 4 Level 4

    You're right, should be simple but I don't know of a way.  I can tell you this since I have a wireless keyboard and like it.  Train yourself to only push the keys after the start of the chime but before the chime ends.  Timing is everything with a wireless keyboard.

  • andrewfrombrandon Level 1 Level 1

    Its annoying ssls6 - I really thought mac's were fantastic but slowly Apple is slowly driving me nuts.  Having to download Lion for a reinstall, time machine not backing up my bootcamp partition (cue using clonezilla) to do a raw image backup of my complete system to my server.  Multiple repairs within 12 months on both my macbook pro and iMac.  Then this rediculous system where to choose what os you want at boot time by holding down a key with perfect timing lol if you dont off you go into either osx or windows.  Im slowly getting to the point of just flattening my system and dual booting Gentoo Linux and Windows 7.  I know thats going to upset a lot of people but, why are Apple doing this?


    All for the lovely price of £1998 inc vat between them.....then you only get 90 days telephone support and have to buy extra coverage to cover you for aApplecare after 12 months.....grrrrrrrr You should get 3 years complete warranty for that sort of cost.....

  • kurtcv Level 1 Level 1



    I feel your pain, I was googling around and came across how to set boot-delay in nvram parameters.  Just forget the exact name


    was something like:

    $ sudo nvram boot-delay=8


    It was boot-delay or auto-delay or something, ill repost when I find the link again.... hunting through my history, ugh.





    EDIT here is link:




    $ sudo nvram boot-command="multi-boot"


    But someone said it didn't work on their MBP, might only for older macs.... I think I'll have to settle with rEFIt