I am constantly getting the following messages in system log:

com.apple.launchd.peruser.0 (homebrew.mxcl.memcached[PID]) Exited with code : 64 com.apple.launchd.peruser.0 (homebrew.mxcl.memcached) Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds.

After searching online I learned that it is caused by the process failing to start. And a solution is to unload the plist from launchd with launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.memcached.plist, and launchctl remove homebrew.mxcl.memcached, which I have done.

Note that the peruser.0 in the messages indicates that it is running 'peruser' for the user root. And I am logged in as root user to unload the homebrew.mxcl.memcached entries and remove the labels in launchd.

I have confirmed with launchctl list that memcached is no longer there and I am getting the intended error messages as well when try to unload/remove memcached in launchctl too. I also get 'launchctl stop error: No such process' when I do launchctl stop homebrew.mxcl.memcached. It looks like the memcached plist was successfully deleted from launchctl.

However the process still seems to be loaded at the user level for the root user as the what I did did not stop the messages. When I log off as root and login as another user, the messages stops, and when I log back in as root the messages starts again.

I am very confused on why the process is still triggered for the root user. Since all indications show that the plist was removed from launchd.

Any help/hints would be greatly appreciated.


2 Answers 2


When you run launchctl as root, it interacts with the system instance of launchd, rather than the per-user one. As a result, I don't know of a way to use it to manage agents for the root user. But since that agent is getting reloaded every time you log in as root, I'm guessing you have a copy of the .plist file in /var/root/Library/LaunchAgents -- remove that, then log out and back in as root, and it should be gone.

  • There was indeed a copy of the plist file in the folder you specified. I have removed it and cleaned it from the trash can. Re-logged in as root and message still persists..with the file gone from the folder.
    – Ranster
    May 12, 2015 at 17:51
  • Hmm, try rebooting. I've seen some launchd jobs persist between login sessions, and it's possible logging out & in isn't forcing it to fully reload the agent files. May 12, 2015 at 22:09

I eventually had to delete the original plist from /Library/LaunchAgents to stop the messages. The file has to be kept off the folder as well becasue when I tried to put it back in and re-login the messages are showing again..

There is probably a way to unload the plist peruser for root user but for now I have to live with just removing the file. Thanks to Gordon for helping!

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