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MySQL Installation Guide  /  Installing MySQL on OS X  /  Installing a MySQL Launch Daemon

6.3 Installing a MySQL Launch Daemon

OS X uses launch daemons to automatically start, stop, and manage processes and applications such as MySQL.


Before MySQL 5.6.26, the OS X builds installed startup items instead of launchd daemons. However, startup items do not function as of OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). The OS X builds now install launchd daemons.

By default, the installation package (DMG) on OS X installs a launchd file named /Library/LaunchDaemons/ that contains a plist definition similar to:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">
    <key>Label</key>             <string></string>
    <key>ProcessType</key>       <string>Interactive</string>
    <key>Disabled</key>          <false/>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>         <true/>
    <key>KeepAlive</key>         <true/>
    <key>SessionCreate</key>     <true/>
    <key>LaunchOnlyOnce</key>    <false/>
    <key>UserName</key>          <string>_mysql</string>
    <key>GroupName</key>         <string>_mysql</string>
    <key>ExitTimeOut</key>       <integer>600</integer>
    <key>Program</key>           <string>/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld</string>
    <key>WorkingDirectory</key>  <string>/usr/local/mysql</string>

Some users report that adding a plist DOCTYPE declaration causes the launchd operation to fail, despite it passing the lint check. We suspect it's a copy-n-paste error. The md5 checksum of a file containing the above snippet is 60d7963a0bb2994b69b8b9c123db09df.

To enable the launchd service, you can either:

  • Click Start MySQL Server from the MySQL preference pane.

    Figure 6.6 MySQL Preference Pane: Location

    Content is described in the surrounding text.

    Figure 6.7 MySQL Preference Pane: Usage

    Content is described in the surrounding text.

  • Or, manually load the launchd file.

    shell> cd /Library/LaunchDaemons
    shell> sudo launchctl load -F
  • To configure MySQL to automatically start at bootup, you can:

    shell> sudo launchctl load -w

When upgrading MySQL server, the launchd installation process will remove the old startup items that were installed with MySQL server 5.6.25 and below.

User Comments
User comments in this section are, as the name implies, provided by MySQL users. The MySQL documentation team is not responsible for, nor do they endorse, any of the information provided here.
  Posted by Glen McAllister on July 23, 2016
One thing to note about the default supplied launchd .plist file - any method of stopping mysql besides launchctl unload <file> will result in mysqld being immediately restarted, because of the non-conditional keep-alive. For more "traditional" mysql behaviour, I remove that key.