login - macOS


The login command provides a secure login interface for users to access the macOS system. It prompts users for their username and password, verifies credentials, and initiates a login session.


login [-hvr8] [-c command] [-f user] [-l username] [-p] [-t type]


  • -h, --help: Display help information.
  • -v, --verbose: Print verbose output during the login process.
  • -r, --reboot: Reboot the system after a successful login.
  • 8, --single: Start the system in single-user mode.
  • -c command, --command command: Execute the specified command after successful login.
  • -f user, --full-name user: Login with the full username instead of the abbreviated version.
  • -l username, --login username: Specify the username to log in as.
  • -p, --password-stdin: Read the password from standard input.
  • -t type, --type type: Specify the login type (e.g., user, remote, local). Default: user.


  • Login as the current user without prompting for a password:
login -p
  • Login as a specific user and execute a command:
login -l user -c ls
  • Reboot the system after login:
login -r

Common Issues

  • Incorrect username or password: Ensure you are entering the correct credentials.
  • Login loop: Check if the home directory permissions are correct or if there are any filesystem issues.
  • Failed login attempt: Verify if the user account is enabled and not locked.


  • Combine with sudo to elevate privileges:
sudo login -l root
  • Use in scripts to automate login processes:

login -c "cd ~/Documents && open file.txt"
  • sudo: Execute commands with elevated privileges.
  • reboot: Reboot the system.
  • shutdown: Shut down the system.