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the title pretty much sums it up.

how do I add a and of my server app to the startup and shutdown sequence of the Debian OS?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

On Debian, service & application boot and shutdown scripts should be placed into /etc/init.d/.

Debian provides an example script /etc/init.d/skeleton that you can modify to your taste for your particular application.

Once it's in place, call:

# update-rc.d YOURAPP defaults

To have Debian add the /etc/rc?.d/ symlinks for you.

If you prefer a menu or graphical interface, take a look at the sysv-rc-conf or ksysv package.

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You can call your script from /etc/rc.local, prior to the line that says exit 0

As for shutting down your app, I would suggest putting a script in /etc/rc0.d. You need to name it with an uppercase K, and then a 2 digit number which specifies the order these scripts are run, and then a name. It will be called with a parameter "stop", but you can ignore this for a simple stop script.

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Why would you stuff around with rc.local when you've already got to fiddle with /etc/rcX.d anyway? – womble May 22 '09 at 1:30
rc.local is the proper place for simple startup stuff - don't need to deal with start/stop parameters, etc. But it doesn't have the ability to shut-down a process. The rc0.d stuff is a bit of a hack. – Brent May 22 '09 at 4:44

For startup have a look at this.

For shutdown, create a link / copy your script into one of the /etc/rcX.d folders where X is the runlevel that you want it to execute at. 0 is the shutdown runlevel for Debian I believe.

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This is the shutdown info I needed. Thanks for this, @squillman. – harperville May 27 '15 at 13:46

The easiest is to modify existing scripts, works in my system, used for sounds :)

  • startup, modify /etc/init.d/rc.local, add your sh at the end of the file, before : (it will execute it right before login "screen")
  • shutdown, modify /etc/init.d/halt, add your sh at the beginning of the file, just after initial comments (it will be executed before actual shutdown command, that is called by this script file
  • reboot, same as shutdown, but in /etc/init.d/reboot
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