I have two questions regarding nfsd on OS X:

  1. What is managing the start/stop phase of this daemon? Launchd? It has an enable and disable mode, but I don't know what does this do.

  2. What is the default status of this service. Enabled or disabled? Should I leave it on disable if my /etc/exports file is empty?

1 Answer 1


nfsd is invoked by launchd while booting by the accompanying com.apple.nfsd.plist file in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/.

As you can see close to the bottom of the following picture,


it's only kept alive, when /etc/exports exists. If the path doesn't exist, nfsd will not run.

So removing /etc/exports will disable nfsd temporarily until the path is recreated

or executing

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.nfsd.plist

will disable it permanently - even after reinstating /etc/exports (not recommended).

  • What GUI did you use on the screenshot?
    – hyperknot
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 11:56
  • 1
    @zsero It's LaunchControl coded by soma-zone.
    – klanomath
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 11:58
  • Thanks! Also, I did a tiny test. If I leave it on enabled without the exports file, I get the following log on every boot: pastebin.com/raw.php?i=X1CJyPmA I think it might delay the boot process a bit. I'd be really curious what is the default state on a clean install.
    – hyperknot
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:14
  • @zsero The default state is indeed enabled on all my Macs/VMs. I think the message is provoked by an outdated but cached plist file.
    – klanomath
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:18
  • It seems to be triggered by nfsd disable|enable. If I do that the override warning appears in the GUI app and the conditions are not checked at start. The fix is to remove the override.
    – hyperknot
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 12:33

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