Perivascular, subdural meningeal and choroid plexus macrophages are non-parenchymal macrophages that mediate immune responses at brain boundaries. Although the origin of parenchymal microglia has recently been elucidated, much less is known about the precursors, the underlying transcriptional program and the dynamics of the other macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS). It was assumed that they have a high turnover from blood-borne monocytes. However, using parabiosis and fate-mapping approaches in mice, we found that CNS macrophages arose from hematopoietic precursors during embryonic development and established stable populations, with the notable exception of choroid plexus macrophages, which had dual origins and a shorter life span. The generation of CNS macrophages relied on the transcription factor PU.1, whereas the MYB, BATF3 and NR4A1 transcription factors were not required.