service(8) - NetBSD Manual Pages

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SERVICE(8)              NetBSD System Manager's Manual              SERVICE(8)

service -- run or list system services
service [-elv] service [-ev] rc_script_name [rc_script_name ...] service [-v] rc_script_name action
The service command is a simple interface to the services startup system. Its purpose is to list the services or invoke actions on them as provided by the rc.d(8) scripts. When used to invoke rc.d scripts, service will set the same environment that is used at boot time. The options are as follows: -e List services that are enabled. The list of scripts is com- piled using rcorder(8) the same way as is done in rc(8); each script is first checked for an rcvar assignment and if present, checked to see if it is enabled. If one or more rc_script_name are specified, only those are checked. The rc_script_name arguments are always specified without a path prefix. -l List all files in /etc/rc.d (the default of rc_directories as defined in rc.conf(5)). A script will be listed unless it has the nostart keyword enabled. Scripts are listed in the order the rc.d system runs them at system boot time. -v Report what rc_directories are defined or in which directory the rc.d script was found when an action is invoked. The -e and -l options are mutually exclusive. Only one of those may be used.
When used to invoke rc.d scripts, the service command sets umask(2) to 022, HOME to /, and PATH to /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin which is how they are set in /etc/rc at boot time. The action is typically one of start, restart, or status, but can be any other argument supported by the rc_script_name.
service exits with status 0 when successful, status 1 when -e was given and no enabled script was found, or when an action is to be performed, but the rc_script_name given does not exist, or status >1 if another error occurs.
These are typical usages of the service command: # service sshd restart Stopping sshd. Starting sshd. $ service -v inetd status inetd is located in /etc/rc.d inetd is running as pid 1713. $ if service -e inetd >/dev/null; then echo inetd is enabled; fi inetd is enabled $ if service -e foobar >/dev/null; then echo foobar is enabled; fi $ service -ve ccd motd hostapd my_pkg rc_directories is /etc/rc.d /usr/pkg/etc/rc.d /etc/rc.d/ccd /usr/pkg/etc/rc.d/my_pkg /etc/rc.d/motd In the last example, hostapd(8) was apparently left disabled and the additional directory /usr/pkg/etc/rc.d was configured by redefining the variable rc_directories in rc.conf; further, my_pkg=yes must have also been set.
rc.conf(5), rc(8), rcorder(8)
The service utility first appeared in NetBSD 7.0.
Written for FreeBSD by Douglas Barton <>. Adapted and extended to NetBSD by Adrian Steinmann <>. NetBSD 10.99 March 12, 2023 NetBSD 10.99
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