I'm looking for explanation of services installed with debian so i would know which ones i can shut down and which ones are critical. I had no luck in searching the net.


I am unclear on precisely what you are asking. Do you wish to know what services, which I will rephrase as daemon from this point forward, are installed by default when performing a Debian install? Or do you simply wish to know what daemons are installed currently on your system and in what runlevel(s), if any, they are configured to run?

If the latter, I would suggest installing sysvconfig which presents a TUI for querying the current and modifying the desired status of any set or subset of system daemons.

You may also be interested in the update-rd.c, which is almost certainly already included, for modifying daemon-runlevel configurations.

  • Tok, i am looking for document or web page that explains what each daemon is used for. I have tons of them started, and wish to shut down all that i don't need. Nov 29 '10 at 9:27
  • dsmoljanovic, I apologize, I did not initially understand your request. Please see the list here articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-6018195.html for a fairly complete list of services paired with a nominal "required" status and brief description. Any of the tools suggested in mine or other posts below should help you to determine which services are running and from which runlevel(s).
    – Tok
    Nov 29 '10 at 14:16

One way to find information about running services is to run 'netstat -lp'. This command shows information about all listening ports (including the program name in the last column). You can use 'dpkg -S program_name' to find out the corresponding debian package name. Then use 'dpkg -p package_name' to find more information about the package and finally decide whether you need this service or not.

  • Thank you jooming, this information is useful. However i'm looking for a best way to check which service does what so i can pick those that i want to shut down. Nov 29 '10 at 9:28

Install the program sysv-rc-conf.


You'll probably have to take a look at the init scripts in /etc/init.d/ and google them to find out what services they start/provide. Another possibility is to ps -ef and google any of the processes you don't know so you can determine if they are needed or not.


You could use rcconf, it is similar to sysv-rc-conf but uses ncurses.

Assuming you added yourself to sudoers just sudo apt-get install rcconf then run rconf. it lets you choose which services you want to start or stop.

You will of course need to research which ones you do or don't want running, I would just google them as which ones you want running really depends on what you're doing with your server.

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