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Using update-rc.d

Serhii Potapov September 18, 2011 #daemon #update-rc #unix #linux

update-rc.d is tool for adding daemons to /etc/rc[1-6]d files.

If you are using OS with System-V style init scripts you can find you /etc the next directories:

So, what are they for?

Every directory contains symbol links to daemons located in /etc/init.d/. And every directory represents run level. Usually your system uses third level which means multi user mode with networking. When the system is initializing it starts daemons which have appropriate symbol links in rc3.d.

Here is a short description of every run level:

Usualy you don't need to switch levels, but if you do you should use init command. Take care of what you doing.

OK, take a look at a head of some daemon scripts. For example /etc/init.d/postgresql:

set -e

# Provides:             postgresql
# Required-Start:       $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Required-Stop:        $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Should-Start:         $syslog
# Should-Stop:          $syslog
# Default-Start:        2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:         0 1 6
# Short-Description:    PostgreSQL RDBMS server

It has a self descriptive comment in an appropriate format. Default-Start section contains numbers of levels which runs postgres daemon. Default-Stop section contains number of levels which should not run PostgreSQL, so when you switch to them PostgreSQL daemon will be stopped.

So, let's assume you have created you own daemon which knows how to process start and stop arguments and want it to run on appropriate levels. You need to create symbol links like these:

/etc/rc1.d/K03postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc4.d/S02postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc0.d/K03postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc2.d/S02postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc3.d/S02postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc6.d/K03postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
/etc/rc5.d/S02postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql

By the way prefix K means kill(stop) process and S means start. It's a little routine work, right? But in case if you have descriptive comment I metioned above you just can use update-rc.d tool. It creates all necessary symbol links based on the comment. So just run:

update-rc.d postgres defaults

Change postgres with name of your daemon.


Unfortunatly I often forget how this tool is called.

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