Troubleshoot Extensions, Daemons and Agents

Ben Greiner -

Troubleshoot Extensions, Daemons, and Agents

Are the console logs on the Mac full of repeating errors? Are there applications and peripherals that aren't working quite right after an operating system upgrade or migration to a new Mac? Console errors, sluggish performance, and crashing are just a few of the symptoms of not auditing your workstation after a large change has occurred.

The Robot Cloud Workstation Audit Action in Self Service presents a list of all running kernel extensions, launch daemons, launch agents, internet plug-ins, preference panes and login items. Use this list to help identify older pieces of software that either may no longer be installed in the Applications folder but were never fully uninstalled, as well as identifying software that may need to be updated/upgraded to work properly.

Always be careful when removing files using Terminal. If you remove a critical Apple file or folder you could render your Mac inoperable.

 

Unloading and Removing Kernel Extensions

These commands should be run from Terminal using administrator privileges.

To unload:

sudo kextunload /path/to/foo.kext

In these examples we're unloading older Cisco software that worked in 10.6 but no longer works in 10.9:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/tun.kext
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/tun.kext

Once unloaded, the offending or older kernel extension can be moved to the Trash or removed using Terminal:

sudo rm -Rf /path/to/foo.kext

 

Unloading and Removing Launch Daemons and Launch Agents

These commands should be run from Terminal using administrator privileges.

To unload (and ensure it does not load if the Mac is restarted:

sudo launchctl unload -w /path/to/launchdaemon.plist

In this example we're unloading older Cisco software that was flagged as non-functional by the Robot Cloud Workstation Audit:

sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.cisco.anyconnect.vpnagentd.plist

Once unloaded, the offending or older launch daemon/launch agent can be moved to the Trash or removed using Terminal:

sudo rm /path/to/launchdaemon.plist

 

Additional troubleshooting of Internet Plug-ins, Preference Panes, and Login Items

The remaining items do not have persistent jobs loaded against the kernel or into memory, so they can be removed or a newer version upgraded without any additional troubleshooting.

  • To remove old Internet Plug-ins, simply navigate to Macintosh HD > Library > Internet Plug-ins and move them to the trash.
  • To remove old Preference Panes, navigate to Macintosh HD > Library > PreferencePanes and move them to the trash.
  • To remove old Login Items, open System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items and remove old entries.

 

 

 

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