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pythonic interface for macOS launchd

Project description

launchd is a pythonic interface to interact with macOS’s launchd. It provides access to basic querying and interaction with launchd. It is implemented using the Objective C ServiceManagement framework as well as the launchd command line utility. Therefore, this python package can only be used on macOS

The python objective C bridge contains some special types. This package strips off all non built-in type information and returns pure python data.


The relevant import statement is:

import launchd

Listing all launchd jobs:

for job in
    print(job.label,, job.laststatus,, job.plistfilename)

Find the pid and laststatus of a job:

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("").pid

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("").laststatus

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("com.example.fubar").pid
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "launchd/", line 78, in refresh
    raise ValueError("job '%s' does not exist" % self.label)
ValueError: job 'com.example.fubar' does not exist

Detect if a job exists:

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("com.example.fubar").exists()

launchd job properties (these come directly from launchd and NOT the .plist files):

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("").properties
{'OnDemand': 1, 'PID': 278, 'PerJobMachServices': {'': 0,
'': 0, '': 0,
'': 0}, 'LimitLoadToSessionType': 'Aqua',
'Program': '/System/Library/CoreServices/',
'TimeOut': 30, 'LastExitStatus': 0, 'Label': '',
'MachServices': {'': 10}}

>>> launchd.LaunchdJob("").properties["OnDemand"]

Find all plist filenames of currently running jobs:

for job in
   if is None or job.plistfilename is None:

Job properties of a given job (this uses the actual .plist file):

{'ProgramArguments': ['/usr/libexec/kextd'], 'KeepAlive': {'SuccessfulExit': False},
'POSIXSpawnType': 'Interactive', 'MachServices': {'':
{'HostSpecialPort': 15}}, 'Label': ''}


$ pip install launchd

or, if you want to work using the source tarball:

$ python install


  • OS X >= 10.6

  • Python 3.4+

Release history

0.3.0 (June 2021)

  • changed: create directory hierarchy for plist file if not present. issue #6

  • improved: added automated flake8 tests, check-manifest and safety checks

  • changed: moved basic CI to GitHub actions

0.2.0 (March 2021)

  • drop python 2.x, 3.2, 3.3 support

  • fix plistlib calls (issue #4)

0.1.2 (September 2020)

  • added tox.ini for easier testing accross interpreter versions

  • added travis test setup

  • fixed incompatibility with launchctl in test code

  • fixed a typo in the README

0.1.1 (November 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in when no scope was specified

0.1 (November 2013)

  • Focus: initial public release

Project details

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