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Old 04-17-2013, 06:18 AM   #1
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Question chkconfig runlevel 3,5,6 on/off... what it means?.


If I have a process that is set to "on" at runlevels 3 and 5 but "off" at runlevel 6 using chkconfig. Let's say I rebooted (set to "off") the box and boots into either runlevel 3 or 5 (set to "on" on both runlevels).

Whether process will start or not?. Which option that process follows?. and if you understand above question

2nd quesion: What if I reverse those options "on" at runlevel 6 and "off" at runlevels 3 and 5. Let's say I rebooted the box and it boots to either 3 or 5?.
Whether that process will be started after reboot?.

FYI on the SUSE Linux runlevels:

# 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# 1 - Single user mode
# 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
# 3 - Full multiuser mode
# 4 - unused
# 5 - X11
# 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
Old 04-17-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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The point is you need to read up on that list of definitions.

Apart from emergencies, your system will normally be in level3 (all required services on BUT no GUI ie X11) or level 5 = level 3 plus GUI/X11.
You can of course customise the list of services for each level via the chkconfig cmd.

0 = halt = poweroff, so of course no services are on.

1 = single user; normally only used for emergency repair work where we need to minimise the num of services running.

2 as specified above.

4 unused as stated.

6 = reboot; this is not really a state, more of of a process, but it suits the system to treat it as a state.

You can see what processes are Started or Killed (stopped) at each level change by looking in the dirs under /etc/rc.d


Last edited by chrism01; 04-17-2013 at 06:46 AM.
Old 04-17-2013, 06:41 AM   #3
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First thing you should do is understand the run levels themselves.

1. Single user mode - usually used to fix your system as root
2. Allows you to login as users other than root
3. Same as 2 but also enables network adaptors
4. Cant remember (google is your friend)
5. Enables X11 interface for graphical interaction rather than using just the command line
6. Reboots - therefore can not be used

So by using the chkconfig command you are turning on or off services for the run levels specified above. I hope this answers your question.
Old 04-19-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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You can visit this Link ...Everything will be clear : Chkconfig command
Old 04-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by machindra89 View Post
You can visit this Link ...Everything will be clear : Chkconfig command
ORrrrrr... you could read the man page on it.
terminal >
man chkconfig
man inittab
3 and 5 On in *SUSE

Find and Read /etc/inittab on the system.

Originally Posted by machindra89 View Post
I rebooted the box and it boots to either 3 or 5
You'd have to edit /etc/inittab or run an "init 3" or "init 5" manually to accomplish that.

So what have you done and how can we help?
When you say I 'rebooted' - we would ask for service|daemon-related issues and whether or not something started all depends on what runlevel you are AT
and you find that out by using this:
who -r
and check the output.
run-level 3 2012-10-31 21:59 last=S

Everything you list using
chkconfig --list
set to 3:on for runlevel 3 in runlevel 3 will have been or should have been started.
If something is set to runlevel 3 and you boot to runlevel 5 it is NOT running in runlevel 5
You are safe with choices 3 and 5 "on".

If you boot runlevel 3 either manually or reboot command or shutdown -r (pick one)
"init 3" at a root prompt will suffice, physical reboots are seldom necessary. Some irony there.
Any service set to 3:on for at runlevel 3 should have started.

Most events are recorded in files stored at or "under" /var/log/
grep keyword /var/log/* -R
Then when you are confident of the processes and understand the relationships
in Linux and runlevels, you can write your own "how to" like this person did.

I don't approve of "message" that that link portrays "add service to startup or disable service to startup in Linux." by showing you how gnome does it. WTF?
You know how many new Linux users believe there's a GUI for this c-line task?

Good Luck.

Last edited by Habitual; 04-19-2013 at 09:06 AM.


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