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INITCTL(8) System Manager's Manual (smm) INITCTL(8)


initctlControl tool for Finit


/sbin/initctl [-bcfhlpqtv] [COMMAND]


initctl is the official tool for interacting with finit(8). It comes with functions for showing status, querying health of services, as well as editing, enabling and disabling services.


This program follows the usual UNIX command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`-'). The options are as follows:

Batch mode, no screen size probing.
Create missing paths (and files) as needed. Useful with the edit command.
Ignore missing files and arguments, never prompt.
Show built-in help text.
Only one lap in commands like top.
Use plain table headings, no ANSI control characters.
Silent, only return status of command.
Skip table headings.
Verbose output, where applicable.


initctl debug
Toggle finit (daemon) debug to /dev/console
initctl help
Show built-in help text
initctl version
Show Finit (daemon) version
initctl ls | list
List all *.conf files in /etc/finit.d
initctl create CONF
Create .conf in /etc/finit.d/available
initctl delete CONF
Delete .conf in /etc/finit.d/available
initctl show CONF
Show .conf in /etc/finit.d/available
initctl edit CONF
Edit .conf in /etc/finit.d/available
initctl touch CONF
Change (mark as modified) .conf in /etc/finit.d/available, like edit this tells finit that a configuration has been changed and is a candidate to be restarted (or SIGHUP'ed) on initctl reload
initctl enable CONF
Enable .conf in /etc/finit.d/available, i.e., add symlink in /etc/finit.d/enabled
initctl disable CONF
Disable .conf in /etc/finit.d/enabled, i.e., removes symlink
initctl reload
Reload *.conf in /etc/finit.d, i.e., activates changes
initctl cond set COND
Set (assert) user-defined condition, +usr/COND
initctl cond clr | clear COND
Clear (deassert) user-defined condition, -usr/COND
initctl cond status
Show condition status, default cond command.
initctl cond dump
Dump all conditions and their status
initctl ident [NAME]
Display indentities of all run/task/services, or only instances matching NAME. A partial string, e.g., NAM, will not match anything
initctl log [NAME]
Show ten last Finit, or NAME, messages from syslog
initctl start NAME[:ID]
Start service by name, with optional ID, e.g., initctl start tty:1
initctl stop NAME[:ID]
Stop/Pause a running service by name
initctl reload NAME[:ID]
Reload service by name (SIGHUP or restart)
initctl restart NAME[:ID]
Restart (stop/start) service by name
initctl status NAME[:ID]
Show service status, by name. If only NAME is given and multiple instances exits, a summary of all matching instances are shown. Only an exact match displays the detailed status for a particular instance
initctl status
Show status of all services, default command
initctl cgroup
List cgroup config overview
initctl ps
List processes based on cgroups
initctl top
Show top-like listing based on cgroups
initctl runlevel [0-9]
Show or set runlevel: 0 halt, 6 reboot
initctl reboot
Reboot system, default if reboot is symlinked to initctl
initctl halt
Halt system, default if halt is symlinked to initctl
initctl poweroff
Power-off system, default if poweroff is symlinked to initctl
initctl suspend
Suspend system, default if suspend is symlinked to initctl
initctl utmp show
Raw dump of UTMP/WTMP db


finit.conf(5) finit(8)


finit was conceived and reverse engineered by Claudio Matsuoka. Since v1.0, maintained by Joachim Wiberg, with contributions by many others.

June 6, 2021 Linux