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Linux Runlevel Tools

Runlevels are handled differently by each flavor of Linux.


This applies to any RedHat-derived systems, like Fedora, Mandrake, CentOS, etc… These systems use the chkconfig utility, as follows:

  • chkconfig –list httpd - to see the runlevel statuses of the httpd service
  • chkconfig httpd on - turns on httpd in runlevels 2-5
  • chkconfig httpd off - turns off httpd in runlevels 2-5
  • chkconfig –add myservice - adds myservice to runlevel management system
  • chkconfig –del myservice - removes myservice from s runlevel management system

Services handled by xinetd (like finger, telnet, rsync, …) are enabled/disabled immediately by running an on/off command. Others require manual start/stop using the relevant script in /etc/init.d/*.


This applies to any Debian-derived system, like Ubuntu, Xandros, Gnoppix, etc… These systems use the update-rc.d utility, as follows:

  • update-rc.d apache2 defaults - turns on apache2 in runlevels 2-5
  • update-rc.d apache2 start 20 2 3 4 5 . stop 20 0 1 6 . - long-winded way of controlling it yourself
  • update-rc.d apache2 remove - turn off apache2 for all runlevels


This applies to any Gentoo-derived system. These systems use the update-rc utility, as follows:

  • rc-update add myservice default - adds myservice to the default 2-5 runlevels
  • rc-update del myservice default - removes myservice from the default 2-5 runlevels
  • rc-update -v show shows all init scripts and the runlevels they operate in (without the -v, only the active scripts will be shown.
/home/cfreyer/public_html/data/pages/technology/linux/runleveltools.txt · Last modified: 2008/04/21 10:21 by Chris Freyer