I need to test if Mac root user is enabled or not.

I usually enable/disable it by using dsenableroot.

sudo dscl . -read /Users/root Password

If root is enabled it will output Password: ********, otherwise it will be just No such key: Password.

Edit: After Apple's security patch 2017 Nov 29, if root is disabled, it may output Password: *


sudo plutil -p /var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/users/root.plist | grep -A 2 passwd

If the result is:

"passwd" => [
0 => "********"

Then root is enabled. If it's:

"passwd" => [
0 => "*"

then root is disabled.

  • And if the first one indicates that its enabled (with Password: * but only a single star) but the second one that its disabled? – George Mauer Nov 28 '17 at 23:34

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