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OS X - Enable access for assistive devices via the command line

Published: 03-09-2013 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article

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This command enables access for assistive decives on Apple OS X machines via the command line, or via Apple Remote Desktop. This is needed for software like SpectacleApp or Sizeup.

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In Mavericks Apple changed the permissions so that every app has to be given permission individually. Therefore we need to do a bit more work. We first need to get the applications Bundle Identifier:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Print CFBundleIdentifier' /Applications/<>/Contents/Info.plist

For SpectacleApp:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Print CFBundleIdentifier' /Applications/

Then we use the Bundle ID in the following command to modify the permission database:

sudo sqlite3 /Library/Application\ Support/ "INSERT INTO access VALUES('kTCCServiceAccessibility','<Bundle-ID>',0,1,1,NULL);" 

For SpectacleApp:

sudo sqlite3 /Library/Application\ Support/ "INSERT INTO access VALUES('kTCCServiceAccessibility','com.divisiblebyzero.Spectacle',0,1,1,NULL);"

To remove an application from the list we use the following command, with the correct bundle ID:

sudo sqlite3 /Library/Application\ Support/ "delete from access where client='<Bundle ID>';"

Mountain Lion and Lion

On OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) or Lion (10.7) simply run this command as root:

touch /private/var/db/.AccessibilityAPIEnabled
Tags: apple , apple-remote-desktop , ard , assistive , command-line , mac , mavericks , os-x , snippets , spectacle