Post #2 sounds right to me.
If its been installed to run from inetd (usually xinetd on Linux), then you need to check the cfg file in /etc/xinetd.d (one per service).
As above, xinetd does the actual listening and activates relevant service ONLY on receiving a request for that service.
One the request has been fulfilled, the (called) svc shuts down again.
The key line is 'disable = yes/no' in the eg vsftpd cfg file under /etc/xinetd.d.
Section 42.5 http://www.linuxtopia.org/online_boo...ion/index.html
. In fact there are several sections relating to xinetd there.
Also note xinetd responds to tcp_wrappers ie hosts.allow, hosts.deny, so check those as well.