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

Runing snow leopard, I'd like to find a way to say:

"Right now, this is what's is running and this is who is running it" I've enabled process accounting and auditing, which should tell me this, but I thought I'd ask here to see if there were other insights.

So, how can I quickly find out which daemons are running, besides using launchctl list? Or is there a way to modify that somehow to get a list of the running daemons?

share|improve this question
ps aux

in console :D



for a live view

share|improve this answer
Right... but here's the thing: Those tools work, yes, but there is an almost dual nature to osX I'm finding. My mental model is exactly that, find, top, etc. I work with linux mostly, and I'm familiar with BSD. However launchd and the rest of the osX stuff especially DirectoryServices, is a bit odd to me, and recently it's been hammered home that even though macports makes me feel like it's linux, I am missing a great deal by sticking to familiar tools. I greatly dislike all this stuff running, thus my initial question. – chiggsy Nov 15 '10 at 7:54
oh how i feel your pain moving from ubuntu to osx.. however im slowly enjoying the change :) – Arenstar Nov 15 '10 at 8:11
It's quite nice. I was debating moving back to linux a while ago, but realistically, that's just crazytalk ;) However, launchctl should do it all, it's supposed to be running everything. – chiggsy Nov 16 '10 at 23:50
Did i help with your question / convincing you to admire OSx a little?? – Arenstar Nov 17 '10 at 0:03
You misunderstand me I think. I loved it before, but now I am fascinated by it. IMO best OS ever, far better that iOS. I'm actually going stop ssh'ing into places and sshfs them down to me, so i can stay in it all the time ;) – chiggsy Nov 17 '10 at 17:53
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Apologies about the self answering, but the BSD/Mach semantics are below the launchd stuff.

From the security manual:

Listing Active Daemons and Agents on the System

To see a list of the daemons managed by launchd, run the following command:

$ sudo launchctl list

Agents are programs that run in the background on behalf of a user, to provide services to that user. To see a list of the agents managed by launchd for you (since you are the current user), run the following command:

$ launchctl list

I highly recommend reading this manual, btw. Page 223 tells you how to disable the

Remote Management and Screen Sharing daemons/agents.

Running by default, no less.

From "Snow Leopard Security Config v 10.6 available on the site.

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.