Using a MacBook with the lid closed

Here’s a solution for forcing your MacBook to stay awake even with the lid closed.

Why would anyone want to do this? Well you might want to use your MacBook as a server in a headless configuration.

Apple has a support article about this, but it didn’t work well for me and I found this to be a more reliable solution.

Download the Insomnia kernel extension, extract it from the ZIP archiveĀ and copy it to your system extensions folder:

/bin/cp -a Insomnia_r6.kext /System/Library/Extensions
/usr/sbin/chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/Insomnia_r6.kext
/sbin/kextload /System/Library/Extensions/Insomnia_r6.kext

You will only need to use the commands above the first time you use this module. After that it will load automatically on startup.

To disable MacBook sleeping: /usr/sbin/sysctl -w kern.lidsleep=1

To re-enable MacBook sleeping: /usr/sbin/sysctl -w kern.lidsleep=0

To check status: /usr/sbin/sysctl kern.lidsleep

Return value:

0 = Insomnia is not active (i.e. MacBook will sleep when the lid is closed)

1 = Insomnia is active (i.e. MacBook will not sleep when the lid is closed)

-1 = Insomnia kernel module is not loaded

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