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I'd like to pass an argument to the service I am starting. E.g. starting a server in a debug mode. Like,

service jboss-as start debug

Or such. But service seems not to support that.

Is there some way? (For RHEL 6 if that matters.)

Note: This is similar to Ubuntu/Linux: how are startup parameters typically defined for startup scripts (sysvinit)? but not the same.

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Stop, ubuntu doesn't use sysv, it uses upstart. – PersianGulf Mar 20 '13 at 5:20
Create another case in startup script. Example: start-debug and then you can run: /etc/init.d/jboss-as start-debug – Guntis Mar 24 '13 at 16:14

In RHEL you have /etc/sysconfig folder. Here you define startup parameters. And in your startup script you include something like:

if [ -f /etc/sysconfig/$prog ] ; then
    . /etc/sysconfig/$prog

Check existing services for examples.

For development you can put your startup parameters in an exported variable (for example in .bashrc) which you can manually override any time you wish.


If you really want to use service there are some other options.

Your script should support at least start and stop. But you can also implement a debug command. And start your program with:

service foo debug

Another way will be to check for the second argument in your script and you start your program with:

service foo start debug

Modify your init script to something like:

case "$1" in
        if [ "$2" = "debug" ]
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As for the exported environment vars, that appears not to be the case - service's man page says that TERM and LANG are the only ones which are passed to the script. But of course, one can always bypass service by running /etc/init.d/MyNiftyService start whatever1 whatever2... – Alien Life Form Mar 20 '13 at 8:23
I will resort to Alien's bypass. Want to put it as an answer? – Ondra Žižka Mar 24 '13 at 5:34

In Ubuntu, startup parameters are typically found in:

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Right but I don't want to change that every time I need a change... During development it's quite often. And I need RHEL 6. Edited the question. – Ondra Žižka Mar 20 '13 at 5:19

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