launchd (Mac OS X Tiger startup)
With Mac OS X Tiger, "launchd" is now pid 1:
$ ps ajxw |sort -n +1| head
USER PID PPID PGID SESS JOBC STAT TT TIME COMMAND
root 1 0 1 166ae88 0 S<s ?? 0:02.76 /sbin/launchd
root 28 1 28 166ac60 0 Ss ?? 0:00.01 /sbin/dynamic_pager -F /private/var/vm/swapfile
root 32 1 32 166ab4c 0 Ss ?? 0:01.79 kextd
root 36 1 36 166aa38 0 Ss ?? 0:06.28 /usr/sbin/configd
root 37 1 37 166a924 0 Ss ?? 0:01.23 /usr/sbin/coreaudiod
root 38 1 38 166a810 0 Ss ?? 0:01.62 /usr/sbin/diskarbitrationd
root 39 1 39 166a6fc 0 Ss ?? 0:00.06 /usr/sbin/memberd -x
root 40 1 40 166a5e8 0 Ss ?? 0:00.95 /usr/sbin/securityd
root 42 1 42 166a4d4 0 Ss ?? 0:01.50 /usr/sbin/notifyd
Quite obviously, it is filling the role that init plays on System V
systems. It is also intended to replace rc scripts (from the man page):
In Darwin it is preferable to have your daemon launch via launchd
instead of modifying rc or creating a SystemStarter Startup Item.
At some point in the future, we hope to completely phase out the
use of rc.
It's even taken over some things that used to be done by cron such as
$ cat /etc/crontab
# The periodic and atrun jobs have moved to launchd jobs
# See /System/Library/LaunchDaemons
Oddly, you'll find apparent duplication of content in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons and /etc/xinetd.d files.
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