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Apr 20

OS X Sleep: Hibernate or one eye open.

Apple, Tech Add comments

Ben has been talking about OS X sleepage on the MacBook Pros.

By default, sleeping causes hibernation (save to disk). This has caused one issue for me when the machine didn’t come back happy. It is also a lot slower than my powerbook that keeps things in memory.

Ben had the problem that since the MBP does have the backup battery, when he turned off his computer it all went away.

This is why I flip on hibernate mode before I take out the battery:

alias hibernateon=’sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1′
alias hibernateoff=’sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0′

  • on == it will save to disk (slower but safer-ish)
  • off == keep in memory baybee (fast but don’t lose power)


It turns out that option 3 can give you the best of both worlds. It will save to disk but use RAM if possible. If you lose power you are not dead in the water, but if you are powered up it is still fast.

10 Responses to “OS X Sleep: Hibernate or one eye open.”

  1. Mark Denovich Says:

    Can you set a time for when a suspended computer drops deeper into hibernation?

    That way for a majority of the cases it’s just a suspend, and when you open the lid, it quickly wakes up. But if left alone for a few hours, the computer will hibernate to save the battery. This is how it works in the Windows world.

  2. Todd Huss Says:

    What a great tip, just what I was looking for:

  3. Hamza Says:

    Would you mind doing a step-by-step for us that are lagging behind a bit? :)

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