launchctl startup items gone after Software Update

Scott Haneda talklists at
Mon May 17 13:35:45 PDT 2010

On May 17, 2010, at 8:16 AM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at>  

> On May 17, 2010, at 07:35, schmunk wrote:
>> from time to time my macports startup items are missing or they do  
>> not get started.
>> Especially apache2 and mysql5. I wasn't able to trace the issue  
>> down completely, but it seems that they are gone after an Apple  
>> "Software Update".
>> Is this a know issue? Or do I have to look elsewhere, has anybody  
>> the same problem?
>> Sorry, I haven't found an answer via Google.
> I've never heard of MacPorts files disappearing after an Apple  
> software update. It shouldn't affect loading launchd items either,  
> but if it does, does simply unloading and loading the launchd item  
> again fix it? If so, that's what you should do.

This happens to me frequently as well. I will have Apache2 running and  
using it for local dev. Sometimes I stop dev for a few days, come  
back, load up my usual http://localhost or http://MacBook.local and I  
get an error because the http server is down.

Sometimes using port load will start it again, other times it will  
tell me it can't start for reasons I can't remember. I then try to use  
the port command to stop it just in case and get a message about a  
missing pid. So I know for sure it's dead.

With a little fiddling, usually hitting launchctl with a -w load on  
the Apache item will start it up. Or, I use apachectl or the other  
httpd start command.

Eventually I get it back up again, always stable for my entire  
development time. It's only when I step away for a few days, come  
back, and things are not running.

I only know I have not usually installed or updated any ports in that  
time. I don't think I run apple software update, but I certainly have  
rebooted, logged out, and ran other app updaters which also have  
launchd items.

I'll pay more attention and look at the logs next time it happens.

Scott * If you contact me off list replace talklists@ with scott@ *  
(Sent from a mobile device) 

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