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How can I do this? I'm using Caffeine, but that does nothing about the network (WiFi, internet) from shutting off completely when my lid closes.

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InsomniaX can prevent your computer from sleeping with the lid closed, is that what you want? Or are you looking for a method to sleep the computer and keep the network connected?

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    I've tried this. InsomniaX is unusable on my Mac and makes it run slowly. Also, it does the same thing as Caffeine. It prevents the computer from sleeping, but still let's the networking turn off. I want to be able to close my lid, run to another location, then open my lid and still see messages from IRC that I might have missed. I want to remain connected to the internet while I close my lid, at least for the first few minutes of closing my lid. – Sam Feb 11 '13 at 1:15
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It's not ideal, but here's a solution. To prevent the laptop from sleeping when the lid is closed and you're running on battery, run the following commands:

sudo pmset -b sleep 0; sudo pmset -b disablesleep 1

To re-enable laptop sleeping when the lid is closed and you're running on battery, run the following commands:

sudo pmset -b sleep 5; sudo pmset -b disablesleep 0

The "5" in the second set of commands represents the number of minutes before sleeping when on battery; adjust as desired for your laptop.

This is a bit dangerous, since if you forget to re-enable your settings, the laptop will never sleep when on battery. Because of this, I've written a shell script to automatically re-enable the settings:

#!/bin/bash
#***************************************************************************
#*** noz - prevent laptop from sleeping when lid is closed
#***************************************************************************

#***** set some defaults *****
BATTERY_SLEEP=5 # in minutes
DEF_WAKE_LEN=300 # in seconds

#***** determine timeout value *****
timeout_len=${1:-$DEF_WAKE_LEN}

function prevent_sleep() {
    echo
    echo -n "Preventing sleep for $timeout_len seconds; press <enter> to continue..."

    sudo pmset -b disablesleep 1
    sudo pmset -b sleep 0
}

function enable_sleep() {
    # $1: <enter> = 0, timeout = 1, Ctrl-C = undef

    #----- insert a newline for timeout or Ctrl-C -----
    if [[ ${1:-1} -eq 1 ]]; then    echo; fi
    echo "Restoring previous battery sleep setting: $BATTERY_SLEEP"

    sudo pmset -b disablesleep 0
    sudo pmset -b sleep $BATTERY_SLEEP

    #----- sleep on timeout only -----
    if [[ ${1:--1} -eq 1 ]]; then   sudo pmset sleepnow; fi
    exit
}

#***** prevent it from sleeping *****
prevent_sleep

#***** trap Ctrl-C *****
trap enable_sleep INT

#***** wait for an enter *****
read -t $timeout_len
rc=$?

#***** re-enable normal sleep *****
enable_sleep $rc

The shell script will disable sleeping until you hit the Enter key, at which point it will re-enable the sleep settings (alternately, you can hit Ctrl-C and achieve the same thing). It will also set a timeout (defaults to 300 seconds/5 minutes) after which the sleep settings will automatically be re-enabled, and the laptop will be forced to go to sleep. While this would be a pain if you're using your laptop in a meeting, it will be a lifesaver if you forgot and put your laptop in your bag to go home.

Astute readers will note that these commands require sudo; sadly, that's unavoidable AFAIK. What I've done on my system is to make it so that I don't have to enter my password to run pmset as root. To do that, edit the sudoers file (sudo visudo) and add this line:

joe ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/pmset

replacing "joe" with your username. You could probably achieve the same result (i.e. running the script without having to enter your password) by running the shell script SETUID, but I don't like doing that; opening up this one command via sudoers seems less risky to me.

To run the script, stick it in a directory on your PATH and invoke it as such:

$ noz [<timeout in seconds>]

When you get to where you're going, simply hit Enter or Ctrl-C and you're good to go. And if you forget about it, it will automatically reset and sleep.

There's probably a way to achieve all of this via AppleScript, so that you can then assign it a hot key and what not; I'll try that if I even get tired of running this from the command line.

Note: this solution was developed specifically with wifi networking in mind.

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