Disabling Processes in OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Thomas.Buckler, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Thomas.Buckler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    #1
    I make electronic music with my computer.
    I am interested in disabling any services that are
    running in the background of OS X that are unnecessary.
    I had this ability in Windows XP.
    Following is this list of services.

    Can someone tell me where I need to go to find out what each one of these does so I can figure out which ones I can disable and which ones I cannot disable. Thank you. And once I find this out. How can I prevent these processes from loading at boot?

    cupsd
    pmTool
    mDNSResponder
    KernelEventAgent
    netinfod
    syslogd
    translated
    configd
    lookupd
    rpc.lockd
    crashreporterd
    coreaudiod
    automount
    diskarbitrationd
    memberd
    notifyd
    pvsnatd
    securityd
    blued
    automount
    coreservicesd
    DirectoryService
    kernel_task
    hpusbmond
    dynamic_pager
    update
    launchd
    kextd
    distnoted
    nfsiod
    mds
     
  2. Unorthodox macrumors 65816

    Unorthodox

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    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    Not at the beach...
    #2
    Those processes help/run/is the OS. You want them on.
    The only way to prevent them from loading up on login is to not login.
     
  3. Thomas.Buckler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    #3
    So you are telling me that every process is crucial to the functioning of OS X?
    Nothing can be disabled?
     
  4. Unorthodox macrumors 65816

    Unorthodox

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    #4
    Yep.
    I'm not even sure you can disable them. If you quit them they just start up again.

    If you're using Activity Monitor, everything under "Administrator Process" and "Other User Processes" should not be quit.
     
  5. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    #5
    cupsd: You'd like to be able to print right?
    pmTool
    mDNSResponder: The internet is cool yo
    KernelEventAgent: Everyone loves a stable OS
    netinfod : Networking anyone?
    syslogd
    translated
    configd
    lookupd
    rpc.lockd
    crashreporterd
    coreaudiod: Considering you make music, having sound sounds like its important ;)
    automount: Access to discs
    diskarbitrationd
    memberd
    notifyd
    pvsnatd
    securityd: The name should say it all
    blued: Lets you use OS 9 apps
    automount
    coreservicesd: You may as well go back to the CLI without this one... did I mention no sound?
    DirectoryService
    kernel_task: Hardly unused, this is a core system process.
    hpusbmond: Do you have an HP Printer? This ones important
    dynamic_pager
    update
    launchd
    kextd: Once again, hardly unused, same reason.
    distnoted
    nfsiod: Networking again
    mds

    Unlike Windows XP, OS X can handle more than 35-45 processes without exploding. Currently I have 61 processes running.
     
  6. Thomas.Buckler thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2006
    #6
    AHHH. Come on. I just quit one of the processes called crashreportd
    and it didn't start back up and everything is fine.
     
  7. Unorthodox macrumors 65816

    Unorthodox

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    Location:
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    #7
    Until one of your apps crashes. ;)

    If you really wanted to I guess you could TRY quitting these ones:
    cupsd: No printing
    mDNSResponder: No internet
    netinfod : No network (might freeze the Finder)
    crashreporterd: No submitting or saving crash logs
    automount: No CD, DVD and probable DMG support
    blued: No OS 9 apps
    hpusbmond: No printer
    nfsiod: No network (might freeze the Finder)

    You would gain maybe 3-7 MB of ram and maybe 2% CPU. And cripple you OS.
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    As Mac_Max implies, they're really not much of a strain on the system so let them be. Some of them can be shut down, but it's not recommended and more poignantly, it's not beneficial.
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #9
    syslogd is just the a system logger so it logs when things goes bad. I don't think you would need it but may crash the system without it. Who knows. :eek: But its not worth killing any of these things. I would be much better to go into your user prefs and turn off startup items you don't need.
     
  10. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    Location:
    Northern California
    #10
    Probably a good idea to not close any processes that are running under root or something similar. WindowServer and kernel_rask are the only root/other processes that really use any CPU at all on my machine, and uh, they're kinda important. ;)
     
  11. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    blued seems like a good target; Classic ought to be dead :D
     
  12. Lixivial macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

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    Between cats, dogs and wanderlust.
    #12
    Long post because subject requires lengthy response, imo...

    I agree with you mad jew, but I'm curious if he's coming from the Windows point-of-view that more services running = more points of exploitation? In other words, if something's not needed, why even bother running it? Rhetorical, strawman question, as it seems the processes he lists are mostly needed. Bonjour (mDNSResponder), Rosetta (translated), and Parallels NAT Service (pvsnatd) are about the only things not needed there.

    I'm not going to advocate this, but if you're truly interested in disabling/enabling these services (at boot time) you should look into launchd and launchctl (here's a good article, which wraps up saying "That said I'm really excited by the potential of launchd. We are now one GUI away from a Windows-style "Services" utility."; here's a great video on it.). The five directories launchd looks in are:

    Code:
    ~/Library/LaunchAgents         Per-user agents provided by the user.
    /Library/LaunchAgents          Per-user agents provided by the administrator.
    /Library/LaunchDaemons         System wide daemons provided by the administrator.
    /System/Library/LaunchAgents   Mac OS X Per-user agents.
    /System/Library/LaunchDaemons  Mac OS X System wide daemons.
    
    In essence running "sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/name.of.service.plist" should disable the service. There're also /etc/mach_init.d and /etc/mach_init_per_user.d, but these have been deprecated and are being phased out more and more. They're mainly used by a few random Apple-related processes these days. (dashboardadvisoryd uses this because mach_init.d is what 10.3 uses, for instance.) There's also /Library/StartupItems, too.

    This is incorrect. blued is the bluetooth daemon. mDNSResponder is not responsible for Internet activity -- you can safely disable it without losing internet access. It handles Bonjour activity (in other words, iTunes/iLife library sharing, "seamless" printer discovery, etc). Classic is TruBlueEnvironment. :)

    I think that just about covers it, though I may have mistaken/left out something. It's late, sosumi (;)).
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #13
    Good post Lixivial. You make some very poignant points, but as with so many of these things, I reckon the average user should leave them alone. People like yourself might be fine with disabling processes and playing around with system-level files, but as a rule I wouldn't recommend it. Still, thanks for the insightful post. :)
     
  14. XP Defector macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2006
    #14
    I work with Audio software, I've been doing this for around three years and have done so on both platforms. It's general consensus OSX does not need to be 'tweaked' and is pretty much configured for audio work straight out of the box. Unlike XP, which does benefit immensely from specialised configuration.
     
  15. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #15
    Aside from being a control freak (and I mean that in the nicest of ways!) why do you want to kill any of those processes? Are you having problems of some kind? If you look at the Activity Monitor, you will see what kind of load those are putting on your machine.
     
  16. Lixivial macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

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    Between cats, dogs and wanderlust.
    #16
    Oh, I wholeheartedly agree, mad jew. :) I just wanted to illustrate to the user, who seemed to be frustrated by a seeming lack of ability to shut off services, that it's possible. While it's generally not necessary, there can be times when it can be useful and about the closest thing we have to Windows' services.msc is launchd editor. launchd is one of the best and most magnificent upgrades in 10.4, in my opinion. I'm more intrigued by upstart in Ubuntu, but launchd does for Mac OS X what upstart should do for all of Linux (making upstart much more robust than launchd due to these requirements.)

    Still, I wouldn't advise the user to do this because it's simply not necessary and can break system functionality if they don't know what they're doing.

    EDIT: Wow, I take it back. Peter Borg's Lingon is about as close as we come to services.msc -- still not as robust, but it's getting there.
     

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