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I have a MacBook Pro with Lion 10.7.2, 2.26 GHz CPU and 2GB DDR3 RAM.

If I call

top -o cpu

the /usr/libexec/opendirectoryd process consumes more than 40% of CPU.

$ ps aux | grep opend                                                                       
root 27834 40,4 0,3 2472048 5780 ?? Rs 6:36PM 167:19.66 /usr/libexec/opendirectoryd

enter image description here

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@slhck /usr/libexec/opendirectoryd – juanpablo Oct 26 '11 at 20:55
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The problem is related to the dead symlinks in Dropbox. Find them using:

find ~/Dropbox -type l -printf "%Y %p\n" | grep "^N"

The solution is: Remove the dead symlinks. If find doesn't have the printf option, use:

find -L ~/Dropbox -type l


To find dead symlinks

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Wonder how you got the first solution to work with the BSD find in OS X. You have to at least install GNU findutils for getting the printf option. – slhck Mar 11 '12 at 12:35
I have installed findutils find --version 13:17 find (GNU findutils) 4.4.2 – juanpablo Mar 11 '12 at 17:21
Okay, well it doesn't ship with OS X so that command you used wouldn't have worked. – slhck Mar 11 '12 at 17:43
BSD version of the find command that list broken symlinks: find '~/Dropbox' -type l -print0 | xargs -0 file | grep broken – Piotr Czapla Sep 18 '15 at 11:30

As mentioned by @juanpablo, this may be caused by symlinks.

Apparently, if a symlink points to /home, autofs or automountd fire and take a lot of CPU to figure out that the place indeed doesn't exist.

Take a look at /etc/auto_home and /etc/autofs.conf.

To see if you're being hit by this particular problem, set


option in autofs.conf, restart automountd

sudo launchctl stop

and review the syslog.log (you may use application: Console). You're affected by this problem if you see something like that:

May 20 17:53:43 xxx automountd[31709]: od_search failed

To workaround, edit the file /etc/auto_master and remove (or hash out #) the line starting with /home. Then run:

sudo automount -vc
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This solved my problem, thanks. – Shisoft Feb 25 '13 at 16:12
Thank you, this solved my problem as well, and it was related to Dropbox - I had some dead links pointing to /home in my Dropbox folder (leftover backups from previous systems) that were causing this behavior. Disabling /home in auto_home fixed it. – zzamboni Aug 21 '14 at 14:06

For me what really solved it was unplugging ethernet cable from my iMac. Crazy as it sounds :) I was being attacked from outside, bruteforce on my sshd. The router I have (from UPC, Cisco EPC3925) by default forwards all the traffic from outside to the single ethernet port it has. By unplugging the cable the attack stopped as the iMac was left on WiFi only.

Apparently sshd is using opendirectoryd and that's why this was happening.

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