launchd resource

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Use the launchd resource to manage system-wide services (daemons) and per-user services (agents) on the macOS platform.

New in Chef Client 12.8.

Syntax

The launchd resource has the following syntax:

launchd 'name' do
  abandon_process_group           true, false
  backup                          Integer, false
  cookbook                        String
  debug                           true, false
  disabled                        true, false # default value: false
  enable_globbing                 true, false
  enable_transactions             true, false
  environment_variables           Hash
  exit_timeout                    Integer
  group                           String, Integer
  hard_resource_limits            Hash
  inetd_compatibility             Hash
  init_groups                     true, false
  keep_alive                      true, false, Hash
  label                           String # default value: 'name' unless specified
  launch_only_once                true, false
  ld_group                        String
  limit_load_from_hosts           Array
  limit_load_to_hosts             Array
  limit_load_to_session_type      Array, String
  low_priority_io                 true, false
  mach_services                   Hash
  mode                            String, Integer
  nice                            Integer
  on_demand                       true, false
  owner                           String, Integer
  path                            String
  plist_hash                      Hash
  process_type                    String
  program                         String
  program_arguments               Array
  queue_directories               Array
  root_directory                  String
  run_at_load                     true, false
  session_type                    String
  sockets                         Hash
  soft_resource_limits            Array
  source                          String
  standard_error_path             String
  standard_in_path                String
  standard_out_path               String
  start_calendar_interval         Hash, Array
  start_interval                  Integer
  start_on_mount                  true, false
  throttle_interval               Integer
  time_out                        Integer
  type                            String # default value: daemon
  umask                           Integer
  username                        String
  wait_for_debugger               true, false
  watch_paths                     Array
  working_directory               String
  action                          Symbol # defaults to :create if not specified
end

where:

  • launchd is the resource.
  • name is the name given to the resource block.
  • action identifies which steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state.
  • abandon_process_group, backup, cookbook, debug, disabled, enable_globbing, enable_transactions, environment_variables, exit_timeout, group, hard_resource_limits, inetd_compatibility, init_groups, keep_alive, label, launch_only_once, ld_group, limit_load_from_hosts, limit_load_to_hosts, limit_load_to_session_type, low_priority_io, mach_services, mode, nice, on_demand, owner, path, plist_hash, process_type, program, program_arguments, queue_directories, root_directory, run_at_load, session_type, sockets, soft_resource_limits, source, standard_error_path, standard_in_path, standard_out_path, start_calendar_interval, start_interval, start_on_mount, throttle_interval, time_out, type, umask, username, wait_for_debugger, watch_paths, and working_directory are the properties available to this resource.

Actions

The launchd resource has the following actions:

:create
Default. Create a launchd property list.
:create_if_missing
Create a launchd property list, if it does not already exist.
:delete
Delete a launchd property list. This will unload a daemon or agent, if loaded.
:disable
Disable a launchd property list.
:enable
Create a launchd property list, and then ensure that it is enabled. If a launchd property list already exists, but does not match, updates the property list to match, and then restarts the daemon or agent.
:restart
Restart a launchd managed daemon or agent.

Properties

This resource has the following properties:

backup

Ruby Type: Integer, false

The number of backups to be kept in /var/chef/backup. Set to false to prevent backups from being kept.

cookbook

Ruby Type: String

The name of the cookbook in which the source files are located.

group

Ruby Type: String, Integer

When launchd is run as the root user, the group to run the job as. If the username property is specified and this property is not, this value is set to the default group for the user.

ignore_failure

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Continue running a recipe if a resource fails for any reason.

label

Ruby Type: String

The unique identifier for the job.

mode

Ruby Type: Integer, String | Default Value: '0755'

A quoted 3-5 character string that defines the octal mode. For example: '755', '0755', or 00755.

notifies

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may notify another resource to take action when its state changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action that resource should take, and then the :timer for that action. A resource may notify more than one resource; use a notifies statement for each resource to be notified.

A timer specifies the point during the Chef Client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the end of the Chef Client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for notifies is:

notifies :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
owner

Ruby Type: Integer, String

A string or ID that identifies the group owner by user name, including fully qualified user names such as domain\user or user@domain. If this value is not specified, existing owners remain unchanged and new owner assignments use the current user (when necessary).

path

Ruby Type: String

The path to the directory. Using a fully qualified path is recommended, but is not always required. Default value: the name of the resource block. See “Syntax” section above for more information.

plist_hash

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash of key value pairs used to create the launchd property list.

retries

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 0

The number of times to catch exceptions and retry the resource.

retry_delay

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 2

The retry delay (in seconds).

session_type

Ruby Type: String

The type of launchd plist to be created. Possible values: system (default) or user.

source

Ruby Type: String

The path to the launchd property list.

subscribes

Ruby Type: Symbol, ‘Chef::Resource[String]’

A resource may listen to another resource, and then take action if the state of the resource being listened to changes. Specify a 'resource[name]', the :action to be taken, and then the :timer for that action.

Note that subscribes does not apply the specified action to the resource that it listens to - for example:

file '/etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt' do
   mode '0600'
   owner 'root'
end

service 'nginx' do
   subscribes :reload, 'file[/etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt]', :immediately
end

In this case the subscribes property reloads the nginx service whenever its certificate file, located under /etc/nginx/ssl/example.crt, is updated. subscribes does not make any changes to the certificate file itself, it merely listens for a change to the file, and executes the :reload action for its resource (in this example nginx) when a change is detected.

A timer specifies the point during the Chef Client run at which a notification is run. The following timers are available:

:before
Specifies that the action on a notified resource should be run before processing the resource block in which the notification is located.
:delayed
Default. Specifies that a notification should be queued up, and then executed at the end of the Chef Client run.
:immediate, :immediately
Specifies that a notification should be run immediately, per resource notified.

The syntax for subscribes is:

subscribes :action, 'resource[name]', :timer
supports

Ruby Type: Hash

Specify a Hash of supported mount features. Default value: remount: false.

type

Ruby Type: String

The type of resource. Possible values: daemon (default), agent.

The following resource properties may be used to define keys in the XML property list for a daemon or agent. Please refer to the Apple man page documentation for launchd for more information about these keys:

abandon_process_group

Ruby Types: true, false

If a job dies, all remaining processes with the same process ID may be kept running. Set to true to kill all remaining processes.

debug

Ruby Types: true, false

Sets the log mask to LOG_DEBUG for this job.

disabled

Ruby Type: true, false| Default Value: false

Hints to launchctl to not submit this job to launchd.

enable_globbing

Ruby Type: true, false

Update program arguments before invocation.

enable_transactions

Ruby Type: true, false

Track in-progress transactions; if none, then send the SIGKILL signal.

environment_variables

Ruby Type: Hash

Additional environment variables to set before running a job.

exit_timeout

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 20

The amount of time (in seconds) launchd waits before sending a SIGKILL signal.

hard_resource_limits

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash of resource limits to be imposed on a job.

inetd_compatibility

Ruby Type: Hash

Specifies if a daemon expects to be run as if it were launched from inetd. Set to wait => true to pass standard input, output, and error file descriptors. Set to wait => false to call the accept system call on behalf of the job, and then pass standard input, output, and error file descriptors.

init_groups

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: true

Specify if initgroups is called before running a job.

keep_alive

Ruby Type: true, false, Hash | Default Value: false

Keep a job running continuously (true) or allow demand and conditions on the node to determine if the job keeps running (false).

launch_only_once

Ruby Type: true, false

Specify if a job can be run only one time. Set this value to true if a job cannot be restarted without a full machine reboot.

limit_load_from_hosts

Ruby Type: Array

An array of hosts to which this configuration file does not apply, i.e. “apply this configuration file to all hosts not specified in this array”.

limit_load_to_hosts

Ruby Type: Array

An array of hosts to which this configuration file applies.

limit_load_to_session_type

Ruby Type: Array, String

The session type(s) to which this configuration file applies.

low_priority_io

Ruby Type: true, false

Specify if the kernel on the node should consider this daemon to be low priority during file system I/O.

mach_services

Ruby Type: Hash

Specify services to be registered with the bootstrap subsystem.

nice

Ruby Type: Integer

The program scheduling priority value in the range -20 to 20.

on_demand

Ruby Type: true, false

Keep a job alive. Only applies to macOS version 10.4 (and earlier); use keep_alive instead for newer versions.

process_type

Ruby Type: String

The intended purpose of the job: Adaptive, Background, Interactive, or Standard.

program

Ruby Type: String

The first argument of execvp, typically the file name associated with the file to be executed. This value must be specified if program_arguments is not specified, and vice-versa.

program_arguments

Ruby Type: Array

The second argument of execvp. If program is not specified, this property must be specified and will be handled as if it were the first argument.

queue_directories

Ruby Type: Array

An array of non-empty directories which, if any are modified, will cause a job to be started.

root_directory

Ruby Type: String

chroot to this directory, and then run the job.

run_at_load

Ruby Type: true, false | Default Value: false

Launch a job once (at the time it is loaded).

sockets

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash of on-demand sockets that notify launchd when a job should be run.

soft_resource_limits

Ruby Type: Array

A Hash of resource limits to be imposed on a job.

standard_error_path

Ruby Type: String

The file to which standard error (stderr) is sent.

standard_in_path

Ruby Type: String

The file to which standard input (stdin) is sent.

standard_out_path

Ruby Type: String

The file to which standard output (stdout) is sent.

start_calendar_interval

Ruby Type: Hash

A Hash (similar to crontab) that defines the calendar frequency at which a job is started. For example: { Minute => "0", Hour => "20", Day => "*", Weekday => "1-5", Month => "*" } will run a job at 8:00 PM every day, Monday through Friday, every month of the year.

start_interval

Ruby Type: Integer

The frequency (in seconds) at which a job is started.

start_on_mount

Ruby Types: true, false

Start a job every time a file system is mounted.

throttle_interval

Ruby Type: Integer | Default Value: 10

The frequency (in seconds) at which jobs are allowed to spawn.

time_out

Ruby Type: Integer

The amount of time (in seconds) a job may be idle before it times out. If no value is specified, the default timeout value for launchd will be used.

umask

Ruby Type: Integer

A decimal value to pass to umask before running a job.

username

Ruby Type: String

When launchd is run as the root user, the user to run the job as.

wait_for_debugger

Ruby Types: true, false

Specify if launchd has a job wait for a debugger to attach before executing code.

watch_paths

Ruby Type: Array

An array of paths which, if any are modified, will cause a job to be started.

working_directory

Ruby Type: String

chdir to this directory, and then run the job.

Examples

The following examples demonstrate various approaches for using resources in recipes. If you want to see examples of how Chef uses resources in recipes, take a closer look at the cookbooks that Chef authors and maintains: https://github.com/chef-cookbooks.

Create a Launch Daemon from a cookbook file

launchd 'com.chef.every15' do
  source 'com.chef.every15.plist'
end

Create a Launch Daemon using keys

launchd 'call.mom.weekly' do
  program '/Library/scripts/call_mom.sh'
  start_calendar_interval 'Weekday' => 7, 'Hourly' => 10
  time_out 300
end

Remove a Launch Daemon

launchd 'com.chef.every15' do
  action :delete
end