I'm not normally one for paraniodly checking my activity monitor for rogue processes; but this one just has my internal nature-watcher all curious. Why is there a racoon running under my root user? What's it doing? Foraging? Looking for nuts and berries? Staring at headlights?

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2 Answers 2


From Apple's documentation:

racoon speaks the IKE (ISAKMP/Oakley) key management protocol, to establish security associations with other hosts. The SPD (Security Policy Database) in the kernel usually triggers racoon. racoon usually sends all informational messages, warnings and error messages to syslogd(8) with the facility LOG_DAEMON and the priority LOG_INFO. Debugging messages are sent with the priority LOG_DEBUG. You should configure syslog.conf(5) appropriately to see these messages.


The documentation link of the main answer is now dead, but you can still run:

man racoon

and obtain an answer:

racoon is used to setup and maintain an IPSec tunnel or transport channel, between two devices, over which network traffic is conveyed securely. [...]

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