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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  LAUNCHD (8)

NAME

launchd - System wide and per-user daemon/agent manager

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
Environmental Variables
Notes
Files
See Also
History

SYNOPSIS

launchd [-d] [-D] [-s] [-S SessionType] [-- command [args ...]]

DESCRIPTION

launchd manages processes, both for the system as a whole and for individual users. The primary and preferred interface to launchd is via the launchctl(1) tool which (among other options) allows the user or administrator to load and unload jobs. Where possible, it is preferable for jobs to launch on demand based on criteria specified in their respective configuration files.

At some point in the boot process launchd is invoked by the underlying init system.

ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES

LAUNCHD_SOCKET
  This variable is exported when invoking a command via the launchd command line. It informs launchctl how to find the correct launchd to talk to.

NOTES

In the launchd lexicon, a "daemon" is, by definition, a system-wide service of which there is one instance for all clients. An "agent" is a service that runs on a per-user basis. Daemons should not attempt to display UI or interact directly with a user’s login session. Any and all work that involves interacting with a user should be done through agents.

FILES

~/.launchd/agents Per-user agents provided by the user.
/usr/local/etc/launchd/agents Per-user agents provided by the administrator.
/usr/local/etc/launchd/daemons System-wide daemons provided by the administrator.
/usr/local/share/launchd/agents Per-user agents provided by the operating system.
/usr/local/share/launchd/daemons
  System-wide daemons provided by the operating system.

SEE ALSO

launchctl(1), launchd.plist(5),

HISTORY

A launchd command appeared in Mac OS X 10.4
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