I am using OS X El Capitan with the Server (app) configured to allow me VPN access to my home network. Unfortunately, the Server app has decided to start a bunch of httpd processes, which are now listening on ports 80, 443 and others, even though the Server settings for Websites is OFF and no services should be started on these ports.

I do not want or need these services active and would like httpd to be shut down (or not start to begin with). Unfortunately, I can neither kill those processes (they just restart straight away) nor can I control them through launchctl.

sudo lsof -i :80
httpd   422 root    5u  IPv6 0x7...     0t0  TCP *:http (LISTEN)
httpd   425 _www    5u  IPv6 0x7...     0t0  TCP *:http (LISTEN)

ps u 422
root   422   0.0  0.0  2457156   6136   ??  Ss    5:55PM   0:00.07 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND -f /Library/Server/Web/Config/Proxy/apache_serviceproxy.conf -E /private/var/log

When trying:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist

/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist: Could not find specified service

So, how do I terminate those processes and free up those ports?

I know there is a config file for the apache server here: /Library/Server/Web/Config/Proxy/apache_serviceproxy.conf

I can remove the following lines to unblock those ports, but the httpd processes are still running.

listen 80
listen 443

The apple proxy service is the service that grabs ports 80 and 443, so you need to stop that one.

sudo launchctl unload -w /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.serviceproxy.plist
  • 3
    This turned out to be exactly the solution for me. "sudo apachectl stop" just gave the same error as launchctl. – Kosmonaut Sep 12 '16 at 19:26

You can stop that with command:

sudo apachectl stop

This command should kill them all:

sudo killall httpd

They will start again on next boot.

  • 3
    I didn't downvote either, but it may have to do with the fact that I mentioned that there is no point in killing the processes, since they are being restarted automatically. – Chris May 25 '16 at 4:28
  • surprisingly, after trying every other method... this one worked... for some reason the daemon stayed alive after being unloaded and killed every other way, this one cleaned it up – Ray Foss Dec 31 '18 at 15:43

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