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init(8) System Manager's Manual init(8)


init - Upstart process management daemon


init [OPTION]...


init is the parent of all processes on the system, it is executed by the kernel and is responsible for starting all other processes; it is the parent of all processes whose natural parents have died and it is responsible for reaping those when they die.
Processes managed by init are known as jobs and are defined by files in the /etc/init directory. See init(5) for more details on configuring Upstart.


init(8) is an event-based init daemon. This means that jobs will be automatically started and stopped by changes that occur to the system state, including as a result of jobs starting and stopping.
This is different to dependency-based init daemons which start a specified set of goal jobs, and resolve the order in which they should be started and other jobs required by iterating their dependencies.
For more information on starting and stopping jobs, as well as emitting events that will automatically start and stop jobs, see the manual page for the initctl(8) tool.
The primary event is the startup(7) event, emitted when the daemon has finished loading its configuration. Other useful events are the starting(7), started(7), stopping(7) and stopped(7) events emitted as jobs change state.
See upstart-events(7) for a summary of well-known events.

System V compatibility

The Upstart init(8) daemon does not keep track of runlevels itself, instead they are implemented entirely by its userspace tools. The event emitted to signify a change of runlevel is the runlevel(7) event. For more information see its manual page.


Options are passed to init(8) by placing them on the kernel command-line.
--confdir directory
Read job configuration files from a directory other than /etc/init.
--default-console value
Default value for jobs that do not specify a 'console' stanza. This could be used for example to set the default to ' none' but still honour jobs that specify explicitly ' console log'. See init(5) for all possible values of console.
--logdir directory
Write job output log files to a directory other than /var/log/upstart.
Disable logging of job output. Note that jobs specifying 'console log' will be treated as if they had specified ' console none'. See init(5) for further details.
Disable user and chroot sessions.
Suppress emission of the initial startup event. This option should only be used for testing since it will stop the init(8) daemon from starting any jobs automatically.
Connect to the D-Bus session bus. This should only be used for testing.
--startup-event event
Specify a different initial startup event from the standard startup(7).
Outputs verbose messages about job state changes and event emissions to the system console or log, useful for debugging boot.


init is not normally executed by a user process, and expects to have a process id of 1. If this is not the case, it will actually execute telinit(8) and pass all arguments to that. See that manual page for further details.




Written by Scott James Remnant <>


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Copyright © 2009-2011 Canonical Ltd.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


control-alt-delete(7) init(5) initctl(8) runlevel(7) startup(7) starting(7) started(7) stopping(7) stopped(7) telinit(8) upstart-events(7)
2011-04-06 Upstart