OS X Maverick 10.9

Revision iOS App

The Support Essentials of OSX Maverick 10.9 example exams can be revised for using the iOS app ReviseIT (Amsys PLC)


Minimum Specification Required
At least 10.8.6 to upgrade from
8GB Hard Drive Space

If there is already a version of OS X on the hard drive it will upgrade it keeping all the users files / data.

Recovery Partition

To bring up the recovery console press either ALT or COMMAND + R
OS X won’t create a recovery partition on RAID or a non-standard boot order setup (e.g. if Windows is installed)
If the recovery partition is not available it will look to boot from one of apples servers. You can force it to boot from one of these using ALT + COMMAND + R

User Accounts

Root can do anything, without further authentication. There is only one root account and it is disabled by default.

An admin user can do many things without further authentication, but can become root by authenticating with his own password. There can be any number of admin users.

Standard accounts are the safest for standard users. ≈

The guest account contains no password and deleting the contents of the home directory on logoff.

This account only has permissions to authenticate to share data, not interactively log onto OS X

All users are members of the “Staff” group (which is like the Users group in Windows)

User Folders

˜ is the same as /users/xuserx
There is a folder located at /users/xuserx/public/dropbox which allows other local users to drag and drop items into it. They cannot see the content of the folder.

Resetting Passwords

OS X Recovery
This method is to launch the recovery partition at start up and then select “Terminal” (which is the command line for OS X) then type resetpassword
Master Password
Setting a master password under Users and Groups in System Preferences allows you to log onto any account with this master password.
FileVault2 Recovery Key
The FileVault2 recovery key allows you to get passed the hard drive encryption. The recovery key also allows the option to be stored with Apple.
If enabled the user can reset their password using their AppleID credentials
Users and Groups
If another admin user can log in they can reset their password in users and groups.

All these methods mean that Keychain (used to store passwords) will be inaccessible. A new Keychain safe will need to be created.

In order to reset the firmware password (like a BIOS password) you have two options:
Before 20/10/2010 – Remove the RAM sticks
After 20/10/2010 – Contact Apple Support


OS X uses a GUID Partition Table (GPT) instead of a Master Boot Record (MBR). The hard drive also needs to be formatted in Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The journaling means that the OS writes to a journal file which is then committed to the disk. If the OS crashes there is a log of the changes. This is similar to SQL Servers transaction log. The apple terminology is “It maintains volume integrity in case of an unexpected shutdown”.


FileVault or Legacy FileVault was used to just encrypt the Home folder and wasn’t very good. It is still supported in newer OS’ but new FileVault’s cannot be created.

FileVault2 is disk level encryption. The authentication is user specific meaning that a each user uses their OS X username and password to authenticate. It then logs them straight into their user account (Single sign on). The recovery key can be stored with Apple.