How do background processes run without showing up in the Activity Monitor?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 0dev, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #1
    I've been running Little Snitch today (a great app for us paranoid types ;)) and I got a pop-up saying Google Updater wanted to connect to a Google server. I did some research and found out that it's a background OS X process. Fair enough, but thing is, it isn't showing up in Activity Monitor at all.

    So, here's my non-app-specific question: how can a program run in the background on my Mac without even showing up in Activity Monitor?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Are you showing "All Processes" or just "My Proccesses"?
     
  3. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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  4. Tyr. macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    #4
    It can't, it runs periodically and for very short periods and you probably just missed in the process list. You can remove it BTW.
     
  5. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #5
    Ahh, that makes sense. So what controls which apps are running periodically on my Mac then? launchd?

    I know I can remove it but next time I use Chrome or something it'll only get reinstalled anyway.
     
  6. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #6
    Launchd controls it all. You can check what's running by entering "launchd list" in the terminal. "launchd stop job-name" will kill a job. "launchd unload job-name" will remove the specified job from starting up automatically. Be careful, if you unload an important job, you could cause yourself a lot of problems.
     
  7. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    Dec 22, 2009
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    127.0.0.1
    #7
    Entering "launchd list" in the Terminal just tells me "This program is not meant to be run directly."
     
  8. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Use launchctl instead of launchd
     
  9. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #9
    Right, I did that and found com.google.keystone.user.agent listed. A bit of Googling told me this was indeed the Google Updater and that deleting the LaunchDaemon stops it from running itself, so I just removed its respective plist file from ~/Library/LaunchDaemons.

    Should be all sorted now hopefully, let's just wait and see if Google put it back at any point.
     

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