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I need to kick off some processes on server boot, but I need them to run as a specific user. At the moment I only have a load's lying around.

Server is Ubuntu 8.04

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As an alternative option, you can put it in the specific user's crontab, like this:

@reboot command-to-run

Edit: Before I forget, as root, you can edit a specific user's crontab with

crontab -u username -e

More documentation at Debian Administration.

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You could also place a crontab fragment in /etc/cron.d. Which I personally prefer over editing a users crontab. – Zoredache Oct 8 '09 at 16:21

The short answer is to put a

su username -c "/path/to/your/"

in the ubuntu equivalent of rc.local.

See this RcLocalHowto to prepare your system to have its local init script

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