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A simpler interface into OS X's launchctl

Project Description

plunchy is a simple interface into OS X’s launchctl. It is based on the idea behind Mike Perham’s lunchy (link) Ruby script, though there are a few small differences between the two:

  1. By default, plunchy does not install items into the system’s LaunchAgents folders. Unless you jump through hoops, items in those folders are automatically started at system boot, defeating the purpose of managing startup and shutdown for your launch agents.
  2. Also by default, if you do want a file to be installed in a LaunchAgents folder, plunchy will symlink the file, rather than copy it. This allows you to automatically receive updates if the launch agent is updated.

plunchy does want to maintain the simplicity of the original, however, so the available commands largely mirror lunchy’s:

  • ls [pattern] List all launch agents, or only ones matching the given pattern.
  • list [pattern] Alias for ls
  • start {pattern} Start the launch agent matching the given pattern.
  • stop {pattern} Stop the launch agent matching the given pattern.
  • restart {pattern} Restart the launch agent matching the given pattern.
  • status {pattern} Display the status of all launch agents matching the pattern.
  • show {pattern} See the launch agent with the specified pattern
  • edit {pattern} Edit the launch agent with the specified pattern

The main area where plunchy differs, however, is in the installation of scripts. plunchy provides the following commands for installing scripts:

  • install {path} Add the agent to ~/.plunchy to be started/stopped manually
  • link {path} Install the agent into ~/Library/LaunchAgents via symlink (*)
  • copy {path} Install the agent into ~/Library/LaunchAgents via file copy (*)

(*) Doing this means the launch agent will be loaded/started when the system boots up.


The easiest way to install plunchy is via pip:

pip install plunchy


plunchy is MIT licensed. Please see the included LICENSE file.


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