"Launch Engine At Login"


I'm using KM 6.4.8 on MacOS Sierra (10.12.3) and want to have Keyboard Maestro Engine start at login. So in KM preferences I selected "Launch Engine at Login". Doing so adds the "Keyboard Maestro Engine" to the Login Items list as expected (as seen below).

Unfortunately upon rebooting the computer KM doesn't launch. Checking System Preferences reveals that the Engine is still in Login Items, however is missing or has a problem (triangle).

Launching Keyboard Maestro (Editor) manually fixes the issue and reestablishes the correct link in System Preferences but that doesn't change the fact that upon rebooting the machine the Engine doesn't start.

The ENGINE Log doesn't reveal any entries relating to the launch daemon. However the EDITOR log does show the following entry after the manual launch of KM after a reboot:
DaemonLoginStatus::EnsureCorrectDaemonLoginStatus reset Daemon Login Status after any 1 good 0

I am having exactly the same issue running on a second computer with exactly the same OS and KM version.

Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this?


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Hey David,

Have you removed the Keyboard Maestro Engine from the log-in items and then quit them and then loaded Keyboard Maestro up again to reestablish it?


My guess is that you have never moved the Keyboard Maestro application in the Finder and so it is still quarantined and is running translocated. For more info, see:

Quit Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine, move the Keyboard Maestro application (using the Finder!) and then try.

Alternatively, you can explicitly remove the quarantine flag using xattr -dr com.apple.quarantine "/Applications/Keyboard Maestro.app" in the Terminal.

I don’t think this is related to your immediate issue (but one never knows), but I have to ask why you have not upgraded to KM 7, since you are using a macOS that supports it?

There are a huge number of benefits, new features, and even bug fixes provided by KM7.
I highly recommend it.

Please see What’s New in Keyboard Maestro 7+.
Note that KM is now up to Ver 7.3.1. All updates after the 7.0 upgrade are free.

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Hi Peter, I believe you were correct. I had the application pre-installed with the OS, which gave it system permissions rather than user read-write permissions, which may have been the cause of the issue. Moving the app out of the Application folder didn’t really do much (as moving doesn’t change the attributes), but copying it to a different location, deleting the original and then re-copy-pasting into the Applications folder seems to have fixed it. KM Engine now launches beautifully.

On a side note running ls -l@ /Applications/Keyboard\ Maestro.app still returns the following:
total 0
drwxr-xr-x@ 7 myusername admin 238 Aug 31 20:32 Contents
com.apple.quarantine 57
Since KM and the Engine seem to be working fine now, do you recommend I still remove the quarantine flag?


Yes. You’ll likely have some other probably in the future, like upgrade failures or who knows what else.

Fair enough. Unfortunately running the command as you proposed didn’t work as I got permission denied errors for the following two files:
xattr: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/Applications/Keyboard Maestro.app/Contents/Resources/Keyboard Maestro Help/css-standard.css'
xattr: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/Applications/Keyboard Maestro.app/Contents/Resources/Keyboard Maestro Help/index.html'

Ended up having to run it with sudo before the command and that did the trick.

Thanks for the help.

Sounds like some of the permissions are wrong on the files. You might want to simply quit Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine and download a fresh copy and move that to your Applications folder (using the Finder).

It’ll probably be ok otherwise, but you might have problems with the upgrade when that eventually happens.

Well, as @peternlewis implied in another thread, I must have something seriously wrong with either my KM installation or system install or both. KM is not starting upon restart even though I’ve re-established KM login at startup in system preferences (delete and reapply with KM in the applications folder).

Could someone advise on how to approximate a clean install of KM?

I’ll export my macros, delete the files you suggest, restart, re-download KM, check “launch at login” and see how it goes from there.

I think @peternlewis has already provided instructions for a clean install:

(KM as well as KM Engine are located inside the KM app bundle, i.e. by replacing the bundle you get fresh copies of both. Using the Finder (and not e.g. PathFinder, Forklift etc.) to move it to the Applications folder is important because of some newish sandboxing stuff.)

To make it a 200% clean install you can throw in a system reboot and the deletion of KM related files/folders (though I don’t think it is necessary):

  1. Export/backup your macros and validate the backup.
  2. Quit KM and KM Engine.
  3. Remove or delete Keyboard Maestro.app from the Applications folder.
  4. Make a backup of these folders/files and then trash or delete them:
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Keyboard Maestro
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.plist
  • ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Keyboard Maestro/Keyboard Maestro Macros.kmsync (Also accessible via the Finder in “iCloud Drive”; if you have been syncing via Dropbox or some other stuff then delete the corresponding file instead.)
  1. Trash or delete these folders:
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.editor
  • ~/Library/Caches/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.engine
  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. Install a fresh copy of KM.
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