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Using launchctl on Mac OS X (10.5.2)

February 18, 2008

Just a note concerning launching background services via ‘launchctl’. My understanding is that this takes the place of rc.d/ scripts in linux for example.

  1. Launch MySQL deamon
    sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.mysql.mysqld.plist
  2. Stop MySQL deamon (same as above, but replace ‘load’ with ‘unload’)
    sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.mysql.mysqld.plist
  1. ndcalcb permalink

    So what does launchctl do?

    By the way, I like the cover image on your page.

  2. brunoj permalink

    Basically, launchctl control the starting, stopping, and restarting of background services. In this case I’m starting/stopping the MySQL (database) server which runs the backend of a Wiki I’m starting to help with collaborative writing. It will do the same for other services like the SSH deamon, or the web server, etc..

    From the man page:

    launchctl interfaces with launchd to load, unload daemons/agents and generally control launchd. launchctl supports taking subcommands on the command line, interactively or even redirected from standard input.

  3. Fox permalink

    Where do you get the plist file? Is it hard to ‘make’ one if a package installer didn’t make it for you?

  4. You can create and edit plist file with Lingon (

  5. benjamac permalink

    You can also create it with XCode… New File / Other / Property List

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