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I just took a look into /Library/LaunchDaemons and was wondering how many different things I opened up there :)

Can I easily remove strange one? How can I disable them during system boot?

I see the next list

at.obdev.littlesnitchd.plist
com.adobe.fpsaud.plist
com.bresink.system.securityagent3.plist
com.google.keystone.daemon.plist
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3 Answers 3

Use the safe boot to disable many non-essential Apple Daemons as well as all third party daemons. Basically hold shift when you hear the boot chime and wait a few extra minutes as some safe mode checks run before the limited tasks get started by launchd.

See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455 for more details.

Then you can selectively delete, modify, inspect the system without these daemons. The ones you listed are all well known, common, third party apps so unless you have some odd trojan or virus that wrote these instead of installing the software that matches these, you should be safe. It's good to know you're safe so happy learning about the launchd process and how things work under the hood!

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AFAIK, it's safe to remove files in /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Library/LaunchDaemons/ normally without booting in safe mode or anything. The jobs will stay loaded, but won't be loaded again on the next login.

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On boot all plist files in /Library/LaunchDaemons are scanned. The plist files which contain

    <key>Disabled</key>
<false/>

are loaded.

When you want them to not be loaded during next boot, change <false/> into <true/>.

For exemple with terminal command $ sudo nano /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.google.keystone.daemon.plist

The built in command which prevents loading a daemon on next boot and immediately unloads (stops) the requested daemon is called like this:

$ sudo launchtl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.google.keystone.daemon.plist

The -w switch makes that is being written into the plist. The -w switch makes that the daemon is not loaded on next boot.

To verify that the daemon is unoaded with succes, issue:

$ launchtl list | grep com.google.keystone

Should return something like:

-   0   com.google.keystone.user.agent

When the output line starts with a "-" (minus sign) then the unload succeeded.

12132   0    com.google.keystone.user.agent

In case there is a number (the PID) at the first position than the unload failed.

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-w doesn't actually modify property lists anymore. –  Lri Jun 28 '12 at 21:12
    
@LauriRanta, you are right about -w which doesn't modify the plist file any longer, my answer has been edited. –  Pro Backup Jun 29 '12 at 9:06

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