Hibernate File Issue with MacBook 2012 Update

Seems that the list of annoyances I have to deal with after each and every OS X update just grown a bit. Besides the usual

chflags nohidden ~/Library

command that unhides the Library folder, now I have to do some extra work to reclaim the space normally occupied by the hibernate file (/var/vm/sleepimage). I do not use hibernation on my notebooks. I shut them down when I finished. I prefer to start with clean state on every boot, but equally I’m not fond of wasting 17 gigabytes of expensive SSD space on a file that I never use.

In the past you could turn off hibernation with

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

But after today’s release of “Update 2.0 for all Mac notebooks introduced in June 2012″, I had to do some extra work. The issue is: regardless of the state of the hibernatemode switch, the hibernate file (stored in /var/vm/sleepimage) is recreated on every boot. Bummer.

Fortunately you can also set the location of the file, so all I had to do is to send it into a black hole:

sudo pmset -a hibernatefile /dev/null

Everything works fine with this setup, but I fear that the next update could bring some more surprises…

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  1. Neal Elward says:

    Thanks for the tip! I was reluctant to try this, but I’ll give it a shot now.

    Not only does the file get recreated, but the hibernatemode flag is not actually respected, either. I put my MacBook Pro to sleep every night, and it now goes into hibernation even though I did a `pmset -a hibernatemode 0`. Hopefully this won’t cause a horrible failure when it tries to hibernate.

  2. Thanks sooooo much for this!
    I tried to fix this for hours, event called the support about this. After more than 3 hours I had spoken to 5 different guys and no one was able to tell me how I could get my space back.
    Thanks again!
    If ever you find out any “more elegant” solutions, please let me know (or what this issue is caused by)!

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