I want to run a process in rc.local (Ubuntu Natty) but I am having trouble determining if it has run. I added

/bin/sleep 10
/usr/bin/killall PassengerWatchdog
/bin/echo "Killall returned with code $?"

The file has the execute bit set. The script starts with #!/bin/sh I would expect the echo to go to /var/log/boot.log

This is obviously just a hack to see if I can fix a problem. How can I tell if the script executed?

2 Answers 2


Redirect the output of your script to a file in rc.local e.g.

/path/to/yourscript >/tmp/script.out 2>&1

which should capture the stdout and stderr from yourscript.


In order to log all the output to a file, i.e., add the following to all your commands in rc.local:

>> /var/log/rc.local.log 2>&1

This will collect both stdout and stderr to /var/log/rc.local.log

then you should be able to know what happened.

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