I noticed that when starting the hald service, it would create /var/run/hald/dbus-xxxxxxxxxx files, but there was no indication in top or KDE's system monitor that it was remaining resident, so I tried running the suggested commands in the hald man page for debugging. Hal is indeed crashing upon startup, but it apparently isn't built with the necessary flags for a backtrace. Here's the output I got:
root@l875d-s7210:/home/patrick # gdb /usr/local/sbin/hald
GNU gdb (GDB) 9.1 [GDB v9.1 for FreeBSD]
Copyright (C) 2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
Type "show copying" and "show warranty" for details.
This GDB was configured as "x86_64-portbld-freebsd12.1".
Type "show configuration" for configuration details.
For bug reporting instructions, please see:
Find the GDB manual and other documentation resources online at:
For help, type "help".
Type "apropos word" to search for commands related to "word"...
Reading symbols from /usr/local/sbin/hald...
(No debugging symbols found in /usr/local/sbin/hald)
(gdb) run --daemon=no --verbose=yes
Starting program: /usr/local/sbin/hald --daemon=no --verbose=yes
12:15:08.070 [I] hald.c:673: hal 0.5.14
12:15:08.071 [I] hald.c:674: using child timeout 250s
12:15:08.071 [I] hald.c:739: Will not daemonize
12:15:08.072 [I] hald_dbus.c:5444: local server is listening at unix:path=/var/run/hald/dbus-VeEzQY3Rz6,guid=d5b94d38752c3dabd44984165e764b9c
12:15:08.078 [I] ck-tracker.c:396: got seat '/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Seat1'
12:15:08.079 [I] ck-tracker.c:323: got session '/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Session2' for seat '/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Seat1'
12:15:08.084 [I] ck-tracker.c:274: Got active state (ACTIVE) and uid 1001 on session '/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Session2'
12:15:08.084 [I] ck-tracker.c:344: Got all sessions on seat '/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Seat1'
12:15:08.084 [I] ck-tracker.c:423: Got seats
12:15:08.084 [I] ck-tracker.c:824: Got seats and sessions
[Detaching after fork from child process 1743]
12:15:08.295 [I] hald_runner.c:304: Runner has pid 1743
[New LWP 101545 of process 1741]
Runner started - allowed paths are '/usr/local/libexec:/usr/local/libexec/hal/scripts:/usr/local/bin'
12:15:08.304 [I] hald_runner.c:184: runner connection is 0x800de2140
12:15:08.306 [I] hf-ata.c:258: unable to open /dev/ata: No such file or directory
[WARN 1741] polkit-error.c:143:const char *polkit_error_get_error_message(PolKitError *)(): error != NULL
Not built with -rdynamic so unable to print a backtrace
*** [DIE] hald.c:main():790 : Could not init PolicyKit context: (null)
[LWP 101545 of process 1741 exited]
[Inferior 1 (process 1741) exited with code 01]