rcconf(8) Debian Runlevel configuration tool


rcconf [options]


Rcconf allows you to control which services are started when the system boots up or reboots. It displays a menu of all the services which could be started at boot. The ones that are configured to do so are marked and you can toggle individual services on and off.

Rcconf gets a list of services from /etc/init.d and looks in the /etc/rc?.d directories to determine whether each service is on or off. Rcconf detects ON state by existence of /etc/rc?.d/``S''NNname.

If the number(NN of /etc/rc?.d/[SK]NNname) is not 20(default), rcconf saves the service name and the number in /var/lib/rcconf/services so as to be able to restore the service to its original configuration.

If you purge rcconf package by 'dpkg --purge' or 'aptitude purge' or others, you may lose off state package due to deletion of /var/lib/rcconf/services.


Print out a usage message.
Use dialog command to display menu
Use whiptail command to display menu
Do not set window size by terminal property.
--on service[,service,...]
Set services to be on. This option enables rcconf in command line mode and no select menu will be displayed.
--off service[,service,...]
Set services to be off. This option enables rcconf in command line mode and no select menu will be displayed.
List services which includes current status(on/off). This option enables rcconf in command line mode and no select menu will be displayed. Use --expert option together if you want to list all services. This result can be used as config_file of --config.
--config config_file
Set services on/off according to config_file. This option enables rcconf in command line mode and no select menu will be displayed. The format of this config file is ``service_name on'' or ``service_name off'' in each line. Refer to the result of --list.
Show and select all services for experts. In default, rcconf doesn't display system default services as a candidate such as mountall.sh to hide unnecessary services for users(but very important for system).

The list of which services are considered expert can be found at the line @expertonly in /usr/sbin/rcconf.

For each service that had the links changed, call the corresponding /etc/init.d/service-name script using invoke-rc.d, so the package starts or stops immediately. If you do not use this option, the changes will only take effect the next time you reboot (or change runlevel).
Output verbose messages.

Guide File

Rcconf can display some description(Guide) for each services with Guide File. Guide File is placed on /var/lib/rcconf/guide, and this Guide File does not exist by default. If you want to use Guide, you need to define guides for each services in this file.

If you run update-rcconf-guide before rcconf, rcconf can use default guides derived from package description. Update-rcconf-guide generates the file '/var/lib/rcconf/guide.default' from package description(only uses first line of it) using apt-cache. Rcconf refers Guides in /var/lib/rcconf/guide before /var/lib/rcconf/guide.default.

If you install some packages after executed update-rcconf-guide, you need to re-create this file using update-rcconf-guide so as to refresh guide.default that includes new guides for installed new services.

Updating /etc/rd?.c/ by the package(KNOWN PROBLEM)

Rcconf saves /etc/rc?.d/[SK]NNname conditions into /var/lib/rcconf/services. This file is updated only when there exists /etc/rc?.d/SNNname. It means that the condition is not saved if /etc/rc?.d/SNNname doesn't exist for the package.

If the old version of the package creates both /etc/rc?.d/SNNname and /etc/rc?.d/KNNname but the newer(updated) version of the package creates only /etc/rc?.d/KNNname, some stupid condition occurs. That is, rcconf displays this package as OFF state even as the updated package doesn't have /etc/rc?.d/SNNname. That is because rcconf can't detect disappearance of /etc/rc?.d/SNNname and previous /etc/rc?.d/SNNname condition remains in /var/lib/rcconf/services for restore.

In that situation, remove the entry(corresponding package line) from /var/lib/rcconf/services.


The service number data file.
Lock file.
Guide File update-rcconf-guide generates.
Guide File user(Administrator) can define.


Atsushi KAMOSHIDA <[email protected]>