Does anyone know what the "access_bpf" group is / does. I noticed it when I went into Preferences > Users & Groups.

I've searched around and found that it has something to do with Wireshark, however I have not installed the program on my Mac so I'm too sure how the group got added.

  • 1
    good search :) the Wireshark is the one making that Group. Since you do not remember installing it it might have been someone else. – Buscar웃 Jul 12 '14 at 9:32

Wireshark's installer configures your system so that the user doing the installation can capture network traffic without the capturing program having to run as root.

The way it does this is to:

  • create an access_bpf group;
  • put the user into that group;
  • install a StartupItem (in older versions) or a launch daemon (in newer versions) that, when the system is booted, changes the permissions of the BPF devices to rw-rw--- and the group owner of the BPF devices to access_bpf;
  • arranges that the StartupItem/launch daemon run at that time.

Note, BTW, that this also allows you to capture traffic with Wireshark (or Wireshark's TShark or dumpcap programs) without having to run them as root, it also allows you to capture traffic with tcpdump without having to run it as root.

The Installer for Wireshark will create the access_bpf group! or in your case who knows :)

Since you do not remember installing and do not use it then just remove it.

To remove Wireshark from your machine, look for following files on your Mac and remove them if they exist:

sudo rm -r /Applications/
sudo rm -r /Library/Wireshark
sudo rm /Library/StartupItems/ChmodBPF
sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.wireshark.ChmodBPF.plist
sudo rm /Library/Application\ Support/Wireshark/ChmodBPF/ChmodBF
sudo rm /Library/Application\ Support/Wireshark/ChmodBPF/org.wireshark.ChmodBPF.plist

Also remove the access_bpf group

Navigate to System Preferences -> Users & Groups -> Unlock it as Admin -> open the field Groups under Users -> select and delete.

Or via terminal with

sudo dscl . -delete /Groups/access_bpf
  • Yes, but you did not answer the question, i.e. what is that group for... Others did though. – Motti Shneor Jul 18 at 7:20
  • You are right. It should have been a comment to the way of deleting, not an answer. Anyway, my original post mentioned it was an answer to a previous poster, but it has been edited a lot, and twice. Making it clearer, though. – leon Jul 18 at 22:06

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