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Configuring a Service to Run at Startup on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 11

In the world of Ubuntu, services are programs that run in the background and perform essential functions. These services can be configured to start automatically when the system boots up. This article will walk you through the process of configuring a service to run at startup on Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To configure a service to run at startup on Ubuntu, you can use either the update-rc.d command for versions prior to 15.10 or the systemctl command for 15.10 and newer. The specific command you need to use depends on the version of Ubuntu you are using.

Understanding Services

Before we dive into the configuration process, it’s important to understand what services are. In Ubuntu, services are background processes that are usually daemon processes. Daemons are programs that run continuously, waiting for events to occur and offering services. A good example is the Apache web server daemon, which waits for a connection request from a client.

Configuring Services in Ubuntu

The method of configuring a service to run at startup depends on the version of Ubuntu you are using. For Ubuntu versions prior to 15.10, you can use the update-rc.d command. For Ubuntu 15.10 and newer, you can use the systemctl command.

Configuring Services in Ubuntu Versions Prior to 15.10

In these versions, services can be configured to run at startup using the update-rc.d command. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Run the following command to add the service to the automatic startup system:
sudo update-rc.d minidlna defaults

In this command, update-rc.d is a system utility to install or remove scripts. minidlna is the name of the service you want to configure, and defaults is the argument that sets the start and kill values to the default system values.

If you receive the message “System start/stop links for /etc/init.d/minidlna already exist,” you can try enabling the service with the following command:

sudo update-rc.d minidlna enable

In this command, enable is the argument that creates the necessary links in the /etc/rc?.d directories.

Configuring Services in Ubuntu 15.10 and Newer

In these versions, services can be configured to run at startup using the systemctl command. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Run the following command to enable the service to start automatically:
sudo systemctl enable minidlna.service

In this command, systemctl is a system utility to control the systemd system and service manager. enable is the argument that links the service to the startup directories.

To disable the service from starting at boot time, use the following command:

sudo systemctl disable minidlna.service

In this command, disable is the argument that removes the service from the startup directories.

To find available service names on your system, you can list the filenames of the service files using the following commands:

ls /lib/systemd/system/*.service
ls /etc/systemd/system/*.service

These commands list all service files in the specified directories.

Conclusion

Configuring a service to run at startup on Ubuntu is a straightforward process, whether you’re using an older or newer version of the operating system. By understanding how to use the update-rc.d and systemctl commands, you can easily manage your services and ensure they start when your system boots up.

What is the difference between a service and a daemon?

In Ubuntu, services are background processes that are usually daemon processes. Daemons are programs that run continuously, waiting for events to occur and offering services. Services are a broader term that includes daemon processes.

How can I configure a service to run at startup in Ubuntu versions prior to 15.10?

In Ubuntu versions prior to 15.10, you can use the update-rc.d command. Open a terminal and run sudo update-rc.d [service-name] defaults to add the service to the automatic startup system.

How can I configure a service to run at startup in Ubuntu 15.10 and newer versions?

In Ubuntu 15.10 and newer versions, you can use the systemctl command. Open a terminal and run sudo systemctl enable [service-name].service to enable the service to start automatically at boot.

How can I disable a service from starting at boot time?

To disable a service from starting at boot time, use the systemctl command. Open a terminal and run sudo systemctl disable [service-name].service to remove the service from the startup directories.

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