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Determine if Mac Is Using FileVault from Command Line

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FileVault is a security feature which offers full disk encryption for Macs. Identifying Macs using FileVault is personally quite easy for machines with a logged in user account, all you need to do is check System Preferences to see if it’s enabled or not. But what if you don’t have the Mac signed into a user account, or what if you need to identify the use of Filevault remotely? Both situations may require using the command line to find out the status of disk encryption.

From the command line (remote or local), enter the following command string:

sudo fdesetup status

There are only two possible answers to that assignment question, and the results are impossible to misidentify because you see either:

FileVault is turned on.

Indicates FileVault encryption is enabled on that particular Mac, otherwise you see:

FileVault is turned off.

Which, of course, tells you that the Mac isn’t using full disk encryption.

This command line trick can be useful when trying to identify a Mac using FileVault encryption when logged in remotely via SSH, Screen Sharing with VNC, or when booting via Single User Mode from the command line. A brief note on the latter situation; modern Macs with FileVault enabled do not allow a user to enter single user mode without entering an administrator password beforehand, so when the login screen appears up much earlier in the OS X startup process, you may also find that FileVault is enabled on the Mac.

Now that it has been determined that a Mac is using Filevault or not, the next obvious question is whether you can also enable FileVault from the command line. The answer to that is yes, and you should use the same fdesetup command. We’ll cover that in more detail in another article, but for those interested right now, you can visit the fdesetup man page for more direct information.

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How to Determine if a Mac Is Using FileVault from the Command Line: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: How to Determine if a Mac Is Using FileVault from the Command Line

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the How to Determine if a Mac Is Using FileVault from the Command Line tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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