Mac OS X Disable Unnecessary Services

How do I disable unnecessary services under Mac OS X to secure my Mac OS X based desktop / server / laptop?

Mac OS X use the following directories to start various services (quoting from the man page):

  1. /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ – System-wide daemons provided by Mac OS X
  2. /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ – Per-user agents provided by Mac OS X.
  3. ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ – Per-user agents provided by the user.
  4. /Library/LaunchAgents/ – Per-user agents provided by the administrator.
  5. /Library/LaunchDaemons/ – System-wide daemons provided by the administrator.

launchd manages processes, both for the system as a whole and for individual users using .plist files. Open the terminal and type the following commands to view directory files:

cd /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
ls -l
ls -l | less

OR

cd /System/Library/LaunchAgents/
ls -l
ls -l | less

How Do I Disable Unnecessary Services?

You need to use the launchctl command as follows:

sudo launchctl unload -w /path/to/.plist/file
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/file.plist

In this example, you are disabling the Bonjour service, enter:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponderHelper.plist

References:

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.