# Macos – Can’t launch daemon with launchctl in Yosemite

launchctllaunchdmacososx-yosemite

I have a launchd daemon placed in ~/Library/LaunchAgents that worked well in Mavericks. But it won’t start in Yosemite public beta. The daemon plist is like this (my username is darksair with UID 501)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC -//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN
http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd >
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>Label</key>
<string>org.darksair.retrmail</string>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/Users/darksair/bin/retrmail.py</string>
</array>
<key>KeepAlive</key>
<false/>
<key>StartInterval</key>
<integer>300</integer>
<key>LaunchOnlyOnce</key>
<false/>
<string>darksair</string>
<key>ProcessType</key>
<string>Standard</string>
<key>EnvironmentVariables</key>
<dict>
<key>PATH</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/Python/bin:/Users/darksair/Python3/bin:/Users/darksair/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin</string>
</dict>
<key>StandardOutPath</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/logs/retrmail.log</string>
<key>StandardErrorPath</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/logs/retrmail.log</string>
</dict>
</plist>


Basically it is supposed to run ~/bin/retrmail.py every 5 minutes.

I notice that in Yosemite launchd is upgraded to 2.0, and launchctl has new commands. I tried

sudo launchctl kickstart user/501/org.darksair.retrmail


and it said

Could not find service "org.darksair.retrmail" in domain for uid: 501


I also tried the old school

sudo launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/retrmail.plist


and it said

/Users/darksair/Library/LaunchAgents/retrmail.plist: Path had bad ownership/permissions


The file is owned by me and the staff group. I tried both permission 644 and 600 with the same error.

So does anyone know how to properly fire up a launchd daemon in Yosemite?

UPDATE: Looks like my launch agent file has to be owned by root:wheel. After I chown, I tried

sudo launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/retrmail.plist


and it didn’t issue any error. And I think my deamon is running properly. I’ll leave this question open because I remember the launchd document clearly states that the launch agent file can be owned by the user running the daemon.

UPDATE2: No it wasn’t running properly. It got run only once, but not again, as if it was unloaded.

UPDATE3: I upgraded to Yosemite public beta 3, and changed my agent to this

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC -//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN
http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd >
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>Label</key>
<string>org.darksair.retrmail</string>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/Users/darksair/bin/retrmail.py</string>
</array>
<key>StartInterval</key>
<integer>300</integer>
<string>darksair</string>
<key>EnvironmentVariables</key>
<dict>
<key>PATH</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/Python/bin:/Users/darksair/Python3/bin:/Users/darksair/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin</string>
</dict>
<key>StandardOutPath</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/logs/retrmail.log</string>
<key>StandardErrorPath</key>
<string>/Users/darksair/logs/retrmail.log</string>
</dict>
</plist>


I reloaded this agent, and I think now it is working properly. I’m still leaving this question open because I don’t know what’s wrong with my previous plist.

In conclusion, what I found is I have to change the owner of the plist to root:wheel in order to load it.

From man launchctl
sudo chmod 600 /Library/LaunchDaemons/x.plist