A program called GitHub Conduit (part of GitHub for Mac) runs in the background on my computer. If I kill it, launchd restarts it.

The launchd manpage lists every location in which it looks for jobs at startup:

$ man launchd
     ~/Library/LaunchAgents         Per-user agents provided by the user.
     /Library/LaunchAgents          Per-user agents provided by the adminis-
     /Library/LaunchDaemons         System-wide daemons provided by the admin-
     /System/Library/LaunchAgents   Per-user agents provided by Mac OS X.
     /System/Library/LaunchDaemons  System-wide daemons provided by Mac OS X.

I checked each of these folders, and GitHub conduit doesn't have a file in any of them. I also checked Users & Groups preferences, and it's not listed in my login items.

FWIW, launchctl list com.github.GitHub.Conduit outputs this:

    "Label" = "com.github.GitHub.Conduit";
    "LimitLoadToSessionType" = "Aqua";
    "OnDemand" = true;
    "LastExitStatus" = 15;
    "PID" = 596;
    "TimeOut" = 30;
    "ProgramArguments" = (
    "EnableTransactions" = true;
    "MachServices" = {
        "com.github.GitHub.Conduit" = mach-port-object;
    "PerJobMachServices" = {
        "com.apple.CFPasteboardClient" = mach-port-object;
        "com.apple.tsm.portname" = mach-port-object;
        "com.apple.axserver" = mach-port-object;


What makes launchd start GitHub Conduit at startup and how could I stop it if I wanted to?


I, too, was surprised to discover this process running. It seems to be a webserver installed by the github app. It doesn't seem to be possible to stop it and continue to use github.

When you run GitHub for Mac, it automatically launches Conduit and tells Mac OS X to keep it alive. Thus, if Conduit crashes or you terminate it with Activity Monitor or kill, it will relaunch, even if GitHub for Mac is not running.

Details here. I have asked about security of this feature at this question.


Cracked it! In OS X 10.11, the preference is stored here:


For me, that file looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

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