Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How do I activate launchd logging on OS X 10.6?

I added a new daemon that is not starting properly (status is 1).

I want to debug the problem but I was not able to find launchd logs, they are not in /var/log/launchd.log.

share|improve this question

I found the solution

 sudo launchctl log level debug 

and after this

 tail -f /var/log/system.log
share|improve this answer
I've realized that this OS needs admin, just like anything else. Was totally looking for this after a day of screaming "WTF where is the verbose flag!" OSX rocks, sure, but tricky to get a handle on. Thx +1 – chiggsy Nov 15 '10 at 6:06
Follow up, FYI: This works with OS X 10.7.2 as well. Thanks. – Alan W. Smith Dec 30 '11 at 23:11
I've been having issues with my Leopard servers and I thought that there was something wrong with my launchd plist (though the same plist works in Snow Leopard). I happened to stumble onto this and it works like charm :) – icasimpan Feb 20 '12 at 8:32
This no longer works since 10.10 Yosemite. launchctl version: Darwin System Bootstrapper 2.0.0: Tue Sep 9 16:30:56 PDT 2014 – JeanMertz Oct 22 '14 at 9:48
@JeanMertz - any alternative? – Umang Jan 9 '15 at 8:22

assuming you're trying to log your process rather than launchd itself, if you include the following lines in the launchd plist file:


and reload the process, any logging or printing that you have internal to your script will be captured in one of those two files whenever it is run. though rotating the files appears to be up to you. as you might expect, if you use the same file in both instances, it will log both error and stdout to the same place.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.