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I've just read on some question here on serverfoault that using /etc/init.d/service is obsolete, so what's the correct way on Debian?


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

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
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    Cribbing from a comment on another question (serverfault.com/questions/30701/how-to-enable-sshd-on-fedora-11), 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}


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


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.


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

Yep, that's what I use too. /usr/sbin/invoke-rc.d is the way to go.


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

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