Configuring Remote UPS Shutdown on Mac OS X

I have APC Smart-UPS SMT1500. It contains a SmartSlot that accepts a network management card that allows the UPS to be connected to the switch (or router) instead of plugging the USB cable from the UPS to a computer. That said, I also have APC AP9630 UPS Network Management Card 2.

My goal is to configure my UPS to shutdown all my Macs (MacBook Pros and Mac Mini) during a power failure.

This is how I do it…

  1. After installing the network management card to the UPS, plug the network cable from the network management card to the switch (or router). An IP address will be automatically assigned to the card. Let’s just say, the resolved IP address is
  2. Plug the Mac’s power plug to the UPS.
  3. Download Apcupsd and install it on your Mac.
  4. At the end of the installation, you will see /etc/apcupsd/apcupsd.conf file on your screen. Do not click on the “restart” button yet.
  5. In that file, change the following lines:-

    UPSCABLE smart
    UPSTYPE snmp

    The DEVICE value is IP:PORT:VENDOR:COMMUNITY, all you need is to change the IP address and leave the rest of to be the same.

    Based on the documentation, BATTERYLEVEL, MINUTES, and TIMEOUT work in conjunction… basically, the first that occurs will cause the initiation of a shutdown. So, since I want my Mac to shutdown right away during a power failure, I set my BATTERYLEVEL at 95%. When the UPS’s battery level drops before that mark, it will initiate the shutdown process.

  6. Save this file and reboot your machine.
  7. After rebooting the machine, to ensure the Apcupsd daemon is getting signals from the UPS, run this command:-

    sudo apcaccess

    You should see your Apcupsd configuration and the UPS information, like this:-

    APC      : 001,050,1249
    DATE     : 2013-09-24 20:09:37 -0500  
    HOSTNAME : goliath
    VERSION  : 3.14.10 (13 September 2011) darwin
    CABLE    : Ethernet Link
    DRIVER   : SNMP UPS Driver
    UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
    STARTTIME: 2013-09-24 18:29:28 -0500  
    MODEL    : Smart-UPS 1500
    LINEV    : 125.0 Volts
    LOADPCT  :   0.0 Percent Load Capacity
    BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
    TIMELEFT : 335.0 Minutes
    MBATTCHG : 95 Percent
    MINTIMEL : 150 Minutes
    MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
    MAXLINEV : 126.0 Volts
    MINLINEV : 125.0 Volts
    OUTPUTV  : 110.0 Volts
    SENSE    : High
    DWAKE    : 000 Seconds
    DSHUTD   : 000 Seconds
    DLOWBATT : 10 Minutes
    LOTRANS  : 106.0 Volts
    HITRANS  : 127.0 Volts
    RETPCT   : -1073742588.0 Percent
    ITEMP    : 28.0 C Internal
    ALARMDEL : No alarm
    BATTV    : 27.0 Volts
    LINEFREQ : 60.0 Hz
    LASTXFER : Line voltage notch or spike
    NUMXFERS : 0
    TONBATT  : 0 seconds
    CUMONBATT: 0 seconds
    STESTI   : OFF
    STATFLAG : 0x0700000A Status Flag
    MANDATE  : 06/17/2013
    SERIALNO : AS1325121222
    BATTDATE : 06/17/2013
    NOMOUTV  : 120 Volts
    NOMBATTV : 3221224708.0 Volts
    HUMIDITY : 3221224708.0 Percent
    AMBTEMP  : 3221224708.0 C
    EXTBATTS : -1073742588
    BADBATTS : -1073742588
    FIRMWARE : UPS 08.3 / MCU 14.0
    END APC  : 2013-09-24 20:10:00 -0500

  8. Finally, pull the UPS plug from the wall to simulate a power failure. Once the battery level drops below your threshold, your machine will begin to shutdown in a minute or so.

Useful Information

If you tweak the Apcupsd configuration in /etc/apcupsd/apcupsd.conf file, you will need to restart Apcupsd daemon:-

sudo /Library/StartupItems/apcupsd/apcupsd restart

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