Configuring what services start at boot time

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A runlevel is a group of activities, bound together by a numbered runlevel. Each runlevel corresponds to links in the directories /etc/rc.d/rc#.d/ where # is a number from 0 to 6. These directories contain a series of scripts to start specific processes which may be more or less than other runlevels. This allows the system to have a set of very distinct operating environments – in contrast to the common legacy OS with its simple pair of safe and normal modes.

Runlevel editors

  • GUI for editing the runlevels: install KSysV with apt-get:
apt-get install ksysv
  • Terminal utility:
apt-get install sysv-rc-conf

Or use update-rc.d directly:

update-rc.d servicename remove
         -- or --
update-rc.d servicename defaults

For more info about update-rc.d type: "man update-rc.d"

Additional info about Linux runlevels

Mepis boots up by executing the program init. After completing the boot process, init executes all start scripts in a directory specified by the default runlevel (this runlevel is given by the entry for id in /etc/inittab). Like most System V compatible Unices, Linux has 7 runlevels, though the Debian treatment reduces the functional number to four:

0Halt (power down)
1Single-user mode: provides a root console,no logon-needed.(Useful if you lose your root password)
2multi-user, but network NOT running.
3multi-user,network-running,but X-Windows(GUI) NOT running
4[not used (custom)
5Normal desktop-environment logon [multi-user,network-running, X-Windows(GUI) running]

You can boot to any active runlevel by adding its number at the end of the cheatcodes at the bottom of the GRUB screen. MEPIS defaults to runlevel 5, therefore all the script setup in level 5 will run at boot.

If you have a M8 64bit installation and want to change your system back to make runlevel 3 text login only as it used to be before Lenny final:

  • Click System --> File System --> Fine Manager - Super User Mode
  • Navigate to the folder /etc/rc3.d/, and remove the link S99kdm.

The command telinit 3 will then resume its former behavior. At the moment, this does not work for the 32 bit installation because that link is not present.

See also Starting/Stopping a service.

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