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What is the equivalent for "service servicename start" that Fedora/RHEL/CentOS uses for Debian/Ubuntu?
I've just read on some question here on serverfoault that using /etc/init.d/service is obsolete, so what's the correct way on Debian?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

I don't know about the "correct" way, but I always use invoke-rc.d, so e.g. to restart MySQL:

sudo invoke-rc.d mysql restart
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You can always just invoke the startup scripts directly (e.g., /etc/init.d/foo restart). This works on RedHat variants as well, although the path is slightly different there (/etc/rc.d/init.d, although I believe /etc/init.d is a symlink to it as well).

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I use /etc/init.d foo stop|start|restart as well. – Dave Drager Jun 24 '09 at 16:14
Cribbing from a comment on another question (, directly calling /etc/init.d/servicename is discouraged on Fedora/Red Hat systems. You also don't necessarily get the same environment provided to the scripts as you would using the /sbin/service script (e.g. on SELinux Gentoo you need to use run_init instead of /etc/init.d to get things to start in the correct security context. – Ophidian Jun 24 '09 at 16:23

all most every distro has /etc/init.d/service ****** {start|restart|reload|stop}

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The same service <servicename> start works for me in Ubuntu 9.04. It is in the sysvinit-utils package.

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Using /etc/init.d/foo on RedHat can cause problem if selinux is activated because the script should not set up the context correctly. The service command always works on selinux enabled RHEL.

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I suggest that you read about Upstart:

It is used on:

  • Ubuntu 6.10 and later
  • Fedora 9 and later
  • Debian (as an option)
  • Nokia's Maemo platform
  • Palm's WebOS
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Yep, that's what I use too. /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d is the way to go.

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Whatever about on Redhat systems, /etc/init.d/service is still the norm on debian derivatives.

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