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Working with Linux Services

There are number of ways to control what services get started using both command line and graphical tools without having to going into the depths of your Linux system.

The command line tool chkconfig (usually located in /sbin) can be used to list and configure which services get started at boot time. To list all service settings run the following command:

/sbin/chkconfig --list

This will display a long list of services showing whether or not they are started up at various runlevels. You may want to narrow the search down using Linux grep command. For example to list the entry for the HTTP daemon you would do the following:

/sbin/chkconfig --list | grep httpd

which should result in something like:

httpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:off 5:off 6:off

Alternatively you may just be interested to know what gets started for runlevel 3:

/sbin/chkconfig --list | grep '3:on'

chkconfig can also be used to change the settings. If we wanted the HTTP service to start up when we at runlevel 5 we would issue the following command:

/sbin/chkconfig --level 5 httpd on

A number of graphical tools are also available for administering services. On RedHat you can run the following command:


The equivalent command on Fedora Core is:


The above graphical tools allow you to view which services will start for each runlevel, add or remove services for each runlevel and also manually start or stop services.


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