Creating a Custom Launchd Plist File

I recently had the need to have a program run every time my Mac was booted. In this particular case, I’m using an old Mac Mini to host a variety of things around the house, among them it runs homebridge with the Broadlink RM plugin to control a Broadlink RM Pro device. The Broadlink RM Pro uses WiFi to receive commands from Homekit, and controls my 20+ year old receiver. I’ll write more about this setup in the future, but for now, lets focus on using launchd to automatically run the homebridge node.js application.

For starters, I wanted to run the homebridge application at each boot. This is a simple application which can be installed with homebrew, and is run from the command line as /usr/local/bin/homebridge. Easy, right? After some digging through man pages and reading some helpful post I found online, I came up with the below as my plist file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">








I created the above file, made it owned by root and in the wheel group, and moved it to /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.mestery.homebridge.plist. Some notes on it’s contents:

  • UserName and GroupName are fairly obvious.
  • Program references the name of the program you’re going to run.
  • RunAtLoad is do you want this run when you load the plist file.
  • I needed to set PATH so it included /usr/local/bin and code find node.js, which is where the EnvironmentVariables section comes into play.
  • KeepAlive tells launchd to restart homebridge if it exits for some reason.
  • StandardOutPath and StandardErrorPath are used to track output from the homebridge program.

This works nicely, and homebridge does now indeed start when I reboot my Mac Mini. I’ll write more about homebridge in a future post.

Tags// , , ,