Here I posted an answer on how to disable mouse and keyboard input using xinput, with the presumption that if the question is about UNIX, X specific answers are good. However, turns out, the OP was interested in doing that on OS X, whose GUI has nothing to do with X.

So, if a question is OS X GUI based, does it belong here? When can we say "ask that on Apple"?

Here is a closely related question, but the above point wasn't clearly resolved, so I'm following Gilles' suggestion to raise it here.

2 Answers 2


In theory, as long as the answers are likely to work on Unix as well as OS X, it's on-topic here. That's probably not true for questions involving the GUI since it doesn't use X, so I'm all for migrating that to Ask Different (I'll wait till there's more feedback here though)

  • unfortunately there are many differences between the various unices, so what works on one may not work on another. This starts at the kernel level and goes all the way up. Sure you may be able to install all the same applications. But a unix running tcsh will not seem as familiar as one running bash or vice versa. Also we now have wayland to contend with which is not X. Jul 21, 2011 at 19:54
  • I'm with you on this one. I was interested in seeing answers that applied to X but that isn't what the OP was after.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 19:56
  • @xenoterracide: That's all true, but I think when the answer needs to be OSX specific we've crossed a line and are out of the scope of Unix/Linux. Wayland=on topic; Cocoa=off topic.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:03
  • 1
    I think we need to be careful to make sure this site is Unix and Linux, not just Linux. I've added my own answer though to explain my reasonings. Jul 21, 2011 at 20:10

I think the level that we should send users to Apple SE is the level at which Apple expects most users to be using their system.

In other words, most users aren't going to attempt to disable their keyboard and mouse. I suspect there is no gui interface for this. I would consider anything at the Terminal level to be beneath what Apple really thinks users should be doing with their systems. If the question is entirely (Apple) gui based it should go to Apple SE.

This particular question however seems to be asking a way to script this, and the answer could be at the Windowing level, the Kernel level, or some in between level, I really don't know.

I'm ok with questions that are Apple implementation Specific, so long as we don't get caught up dealing with their intended user experience, which has nothing to do with Unix.

  • A fair point...
    – Caleb
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:50

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