6.59. Sysvinit-2.88dsf

The Sysvinit package contains programs for controlling the startup, running, and shutdown of the system.

Approximate build time: less than 0.1 SBU
Required disk space: 1.4 MB

6.59.1. Installation of Sysvinit

When run-levels are changed (for example, when halting the system), init sends termination signals to those processes that init itself started and that should not be running in the new run-level. While doing this, init outputs messages like “Sending processes the TERM signal” which seem to imply that it is sending these signals to all currently running processes. To avoid this misinterpretation, modify the source so that these messages read like “Sending processes configured via /etc/inittab the TERM signal” instead:

sed -i 's@Sending processes@& configured via /etc/inittab@g' src/init.c

Maintained versions of the wall, mountpoint, and utmpdump programs were installed earlier by Util-linux. Suppress the installation of Sysvinit's versions of these programs and their man pages:

sed -i -e '/utmpdump/d' \
       -e '/mountpoint/d' src/Makefile

Compile the package:

make -C src

This package does not come with a test suite.

Install the package:

make -C src install

6.59.2. Contents of Sysvinit

Installed programs: bootlogd, fstab-decode, halt, init, killall5, last, lastb (link to last), mesg, pidof (link to killall5), poweroff (link to halt), reboot (link to halt), runlevel, shutdown, sulogin, and telinit (link to init)

Short Descriptions


Logs boot messages to a log file


Run a command with fstab-encoded arguments


Normally invokes shutdown with the -h option, except when already in run-level 0, then it tells the kernel to halt the system; it notes in the file /var/log/wtmp that the system is being brought down


The first process to be started when the kernel has initialized the hardware which takes over the boot process and starts all the proceses it is instructed to


Sends a signal to all processes, except the processes in its own session so it will not kill the shell running the script that called it


Shows which users last logged in (and out), searching back through the /var/log/wtmp file; it also shows system boots, shutdowns, and run-level changes


Shows the failed login attempts, as logged in /var/log/btmp


Controls whether other users can send messages to the current user's terminal


Reports the PIDs of the given programs


Tells the kernel to halt the system and switch off the computer (see halt)


Tells the kernel to reboot the system (see halt)


Reports the previous and the current run-level, as noted in the last run-level record in /var/run/utmp


Brings the system down in a secure way, signaling all processes and notifying all logged-in users


Allows root to log in; it is normally invoked by init when the system goes into single user mode


Tells init which run-level to change to