Launchd is an interesting piece of software. It seems like it is working ok, but one would think the brand new way of replacing init would have a few more iterations.

Is launchd still under active development? The last svn checkin was 2009, the mailing list is not that vibrant, unless i'm looking at the wrong one... and all the tutorials online are from 2006 or so.

What am I missing?

  • 2
    Have you found any bugs or features lacking? Changing the plumbing on a whim would be scary. It is solid and useful code.
    – bmike
    Jul 17, 2011 at 12:50
  • Bugs on startup sometimes, when I run in verbose mode. The single process that manages everything should be a single point of truth, and it is not.
    – chiggsy
    Jul 17, 2011 at 22:07
  • I don't doubt it's not giving you a single truth the way you hope to see things reported (based on your other question asked at roughly the same time ;-) Thanks for clarifying. (and nice call on the snoop man pages too)
    – bmike
    Jul 17, 2011 at 22:10
  • definitely Spotlight, and launchd are two technologies I love about osX, and and love DTrace unconditionally. It just seems that a couple more steps and they could all be put into an incredible toolchain for admin...
    – chiggsy
    Jul 17, 2011 at 23:35
  • Ok I was in deep with launchctl and launchd and there is no doubt that the tools are solid, but more is needed. It's a good tool that needs more porcelain. The defaults command has an almost opposite approach defaulting to lots of information in one context.
    – chiggsy
    Jul 26, 2011 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


If the last time Apple publicly posted sources to launchd was when Snow Leopard shipped, it may be that there were no critical bugs in launchd that were worth fixing in Snow Leopard software updates, so none of the post-Snow-Leopard updates to the Darwin sources would contain any launchd changes.

When Lion ships, you can expect to see a huge new drop of Darwin sources based on Lion. You may find that a lot has been going on behind the scenes over the last 2 years. Or not. But given that Apple has said Lion will ship sometime this month, your question might be 2 weeks premature.


Not publicly.

For some reason, no one is working on the only current proposal to have launchd parse local times like sunset and phases of the moon.

  • 1
    That's actually an excellent idea! I'd like to add tide tables to that proposal... which could be an importantant detail if one were launchd*ing* a ship :)
    – Seamus
    Dec 1, 2019 at 14:28

launchd continues to be actively developed by Apple.

For OS X 10.10, Yosemite, launchd was completely rewritten. Sadly, the project is no longer open source.

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