update-rc.d - Man Page

install and remove System-V style init script links

Examples (TL;DR)


update-rc.d [-n] [-f] name remove

update-rc.d [-n] name defaults

update-rc.d [-n] name disable|enable [ S|2|3|4|5 ]


update-rc.d updates the System V style init script links /etc/rcrunlevel.d/NNname whose target is the script /etc/init.d/name. These links are run by init when it changes runlevels; they are generally used to start and stop system services such as daemons. runlevel is one of the runlevels supported by init, namely, 0123456789S, and NN is the two-digit sequence number that determines where in the sequence init will run the scripts.

This manpage documents only the usage and behaviour of update-rc.d. For a discussion of the System V style init script arrangements please see init(8) and the Debian Policy Manual.

Removing Scripts

When invoked with the remove option, update-rc.d removes any links in the /etc/rcrunlevel.d directories to the script /etc/init.d/name. The script must have been deleted already. If the script is still present then update-rc.d aborts with an error message.

update-rc.d is usually called from a package's post-removal script when that script is given the purge argument. Any files in the /etc/rcrunlevel.d directories that are not symbolic links to the script /etc/init.d/name will be left untouched.



Don't do anything, just show what we would do.


Force removal of symlinks even if /etc/init.d/name still exists.


Insert links using the defaults:

   update-rc.d foobar defaults
The equivalent dependency header would have start and stop
dependencies on $remote_fs and $syslog, and start in
runlevels 2-5 and stop in runlevels 0, 1 and 6.

Remove all links for a script (assuming foobar has been deleted already):

   update-rc.d foobar remove

Example of disabling a service:

   update-rc.d foobar disable

Example of a command for installing a system initialization-and-shutdown script:

   update-rc.d foobar defaults

Example of a command for disabling a system initialization-and-shutdown script:

   update-rc.d foobar disable


See http://bugs.debian.org/sysv-rc.



The directory containing the actual init scripts.


The directories containing the links used by init and managed by update-rc.d.


Model for use by writers of init.d scripts.

See Also

Debian Policy Manual,
insserv(8), sysv-rc-conf(8), bum(8), init(8).

Referenced By

dh_installinit(1), invoke-rc.d(8).

14 November 2005 Debian Project sysv-rc