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Enable program startup by SystemStarter System
I've found that the empty dotfile .disabled was created in my /Library/StartupItems/Privoxy directory when I accidentally told some security checking program that I didn't want Privoxy to be started automatically. The symptom was something like the following line appearing in the /var/log/system.log file:
SystemStarter[47]: Skipping disabled StartupItem: 
 /Library/StartupItems/Privoxy
After I removed (with root privileges) the .disabled file, SystemStarter was able to start Privoxy. There is no mention of this behavior in the man page, nor did I see anything useful in SystemStarter's verbose output, nor the debug output that hinted at the .disabled file. And I didn't happen to see that file in the directory before, because dotfiles are not normally displayed for me.

Hope this saves some headaches.
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confirmed from source code
Authored by: hayne on Dec 07, '06 10:14:18AM
I can confirm from looking at the source code for SystemStarter (available as part of the "Darwin" open source - under the 'launchd' folder) that any StartupItems sub-folder that has a ".disabled" file in it will be skipped.

The relevant source code is the following lines in the function 'StartupItemListCreateWithMask' in StartupItems.c:


sprintf(aDisabledFile, "%s/%s", aBundlePath, kDisabledFile);

if (lstat(aDisabledFile, &aStatBuf) == 0) {
    syslog(LOG_NOTICE, "Skipping disabled StartupItem: %s", aBundlePath);
    continue;
}
where kDisabledFile was previously defined as:

#define kDisabledFile ".disabled"
And I also have failed to find any mention of this feature in the documentation.

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confirmed from source code
Authored by: mantrid on Dec 07, '06 11:34:01AM

I think this is how StartupItems with insecure permissions are disabled in 10.4 - I know I've seen ".disabled" files discussed before...



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confirmed from source code
Authored by: mantrid on Dec 07, '06 11:36:07AM
Sorry, I should have searched first. One reference, anyway
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300962

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confirmed from source code
Authored by: LouieNet on Dec 16, '06 06:52:41AM

Thanks, hayne & mantrid!

I guess I wasn't searching on the right terms at the Apple site. *shrug*

---
G4 cube, 17" Powerbook G4, iMac 20", Mac mini, PowerMac 7500 (w/ G4 upgrade card)



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