initctl [OPTION]...  COMMAND [OPTION]...  ARG...

       initctl  allows a system administrator to communicate and interact with
       the Upstart init(8) daemon.

       If D-Bus has been configured to allow non-privileged  users  to  invoke
       all  Upstart  D-Bus  methods,  this command is also able to manage user
       jobs.  See init(5) for further details.

       When run as initctl, the first  non-option  argument  is  the  COMMAND.
       Global options may be specified before or after the command.

       You  may also create symbolic or hard links to initctl named after com-
       mands.  When invoked through these links the tool will behave  only  as
       that command, with global and command-specific options intermixed.  The
       default installation supplies such links for the start, stop,  restart,
       reload and status commands.

              Connect to init(8) daemon using the D-Bus session bus (for test-
              ing purposes only).

              Communication with the init(8) daemon is normally performed over
              a  private  socket  connection.  This has the advantage of speed
              and robustness, when issuing commands to start or stop  services
              or  even  reboot  the  system  you do not want to be affected by
              changes to the D-Bus system bus daemon.

              The disadvantage to using the private socket  however  is  secu-
              rity,  init(8)  only  permits  the root user to communicate over
              this socket which means that read-only commands such  as  status
              and list cannot be made by other users.

              The  --system  option  instructs  initctl to communicate via the
              D-Bus system bus rather than over the private socket.

              This is only possible if the system bus daemon is running and if
              init(8)  is  connected to it.  The advantage is that the default
              security configuration allows non-root users  to  use  read-only

       --dest Specifies  the  well-known name of the init(8) daemon when using

              There is normally no need to use this option since  the  init(8)
              daemon uses the default com.ubuntu.Upstart name.  However it may
              be useful for debugging.


              This  option  instead causes these commands to only wait for the
              goal change or event to be queued.

              Reduces output of all commands to errors only.

       start  JOB [KEY=VALUE]...

              Requests that a new instance of the named JOB be  started,  out-
              putting  the  status of the job to standard output when the com-
              mand completes.

              See status for a description of the output format.

              The optional KEY=VALUE arguments specify  environment  variables
              to be passed to the starting job, and placed in its environment.
              They also serve to specify which instance of multi-instance jobs
              should be started.

              Most  jobs  only  permit  a  single instance; those that use the
              instance stanza in their configuration define a string  expanded
              from environment variables to name the instance.  As many unique
              instances may be started as unique names may be generated by the
              stanza.   Thus  the  environment  variables also serve to select
              which instance of JOB is to be acted upon.

              If the job is already running, start will return an error.

       stop   JOB [KEY=VALUE]...

              Requests that an instance of the  named  JOB  be  stopped,  out-
              putting  the  status of the job to standard output when the com-
              mand completes.

              See status for a description of the output format and start  for
              a discussion on instances.

              JOB [KEY=VALUE]...

              Requests  that  an  instance of the named JOB be restarted, out-
              putting the status of the job to standard output when  the  com-
              mand completes.

              The  job  instance being restarted will retain its original con-
              figuration.  To have the new instance run with  the  latest  job
              configuration, stop the job and then start it again instead.

              See  status for a description of the output format and start for
              a discussion on instances.

              Note that this command  can  only  be  used  when  there  is  an
              Requests  the status an instance of the named JOB, outputting to
              standard output.

              See start for a discusson on instances.

              For a single-instance job a line like the following is output:

                job start/running, process 1234

              The job name is given first followed by  the  current  goal  and
              state  of  the  selected  instance.  The goal is either start or
              stop, the status may be one  of  waiting,  starting,  pre-start,
              spawned,  post-start,  running,  pre-stop,  stopping,  killed or

              If the job has an active process, the process id will follow  on
              the same line.  If the state is pre-start or post-stop this will
              be the process id of the equivalent process, otherwise  it  will
              be the process id of the main process.

                job start/pre-start, process 902

              The  post-start  and pre-stop states may have multiple processes
              attached, the extra processes will follow on  consecutive  lines
              indented by a tab:

                job start/post-start, process 1234
                        post-start process 1357

              If  there  is  no main process, they may follow on the same line
              but will be prefixed to indicate that it is not the main process
              id being given:

                job start/post-start, (post-start) process 1357

              Jobs   that  permit  multiple  instances  have  names  for  each
              instance, the output is otherwise identical to the above  except
              that the instance name follows the job name in parentheses:

                job (tty1) start/post-start, process 1234
                        post-start process 1357


              Requests  a  list  of  the known jobs and instances, outputs the
              status of each to standard output.

              Note that this command includes in the enumeration as-yet-to-run
              jobs  (in  other  words  configuration  files  for  which no job
              instances have yet been  created)  in  the  output  with  status
              "stop/waiting".  In  effect  such  entries  denote configuration
              files which represent potential future jobs.

              See status for a description of the output format and start  for
              The  optional  KEY=VALUE arguments specify environment variables
              to be included with the event and thus exported into  the  envi-
              ronment of any jobs started and stopped by the event.

              The  environment  may  also  serve  to specify which instance of
              multi-instance jobs should be started or stopped.  See start for
              a discussion on instances.

              There  is  no  limitation on the event names that may be emitted
              with this command, you are free to invent  new  events  and  use
              them in your job configurations.

              The most well-known event used by the default Upstart configura-
              tion is the runlevel(7) event.  This is normally emitted by  the
              telinit(8) and shutdown(8) tools.


              Requests that the init(8) daemon reloads its configuration.

              This  command  is  generally not necessary since init(8) watches
              its configuration directories with inotify(7) and  automatically
              reloads in cases of changes.

              No jobs will be started by this command.


              Requests and outputs the version of the running init daemon.


              When  called  with  a  PRIORITY  argument,  it requests that the
              init(8) daemon log all messages with that priority  or  greater.
              This  may  be  used  to both increase and decrease the volume of
              logged messages.

              PRIORITY may be one of debug,  info,  message,  warn,  error  or

              When  called  without  argument, it requests the current minimum
              message priority that the init(8) daemon will log and ouputs  to
              standard output.

              [OPTIONS] [CONF]

              Display  emits,  start  on and stop on job configuration details
              (in that order) for specified job configuration, CONF.  If  CONF
              is  not specified, list information for all valid job configura-

              If a job configuration has no emits, start on, or stop on condi-
              tions, the name of the job configuration will be displayed  with
              no further details.

              Note  that  the  start  on  and stop on conditions will be fully
              bracketed, regardless of whether they appear like  this  in  the
              job  configuration  file.  This is useful to see how the init(8)
              daemon perceives the condition.

              Example output:

                emits boing
                emits blip
                start on (starting A and (B or C var=2))
                stop on (bar HELLO=world testing=123 or stopping wibble)


              -e, --enumerate

                     If specified, rather than listing the  precise  start  on
                     and  stop  on  conditions,  outputs the emits lines along
                     with one line for each event or job the CONF in  question
                     may  be started or stopped by if it were to become a job.
                     If the start on condition specifies a non-job event, this
                     will  be  listed  verbatim,  whereas for a job event, the
                     name of the job as opposed to the  event  the  job  emits
                     will be listed.

                     The type of entity, its triggering event (if appropriate)
                     and its full environment is displayed in brackets follow-
                     ing its name for clarity.

                     This  option is useful for tools which generate graphs of
                     relationships  between  jobs  and  events.  It  is   also
                     instructive  since  it  shows  how the init(8) daemon has
                     parsed the job configuration file.

                     Example output (an analog of the  default  output  format

                       emits boing
                       emits blip
                       start on starting (job: A, env:)
                       start on B (job:, env:)
                       start on C (job:, env: var=2)
                       stop on bar (job:, env: HELLO=world testing=123)
                       stop on stopping (job: wibble, event: stopping, env:)

              [OPTIONS] [CONF]

              If errors are identified, the name of the job configuration will
              be  displayed.  Subsequent lines will show the failed conditions
              for the job configuration, one per line. Condition  lines  begin
              with  two  spaces  and  are followed with either "start on: " or
              "stop on: ", the word "unknown", the type of entity that is  not
              known and finally its name.

              Note  that  only  job configurations that are logically in error
              (those with unsatisfiable conditions) will  be  displayed.  Note
              too  that  job configurations that are syntactically invalid may
              trigger an error if they would cause a condition to be in error.

              Assuming job configuration file /etc/init/foo.conf contains  the

                start on starting grape
                stop on peach

              The check-config command might display:

                  start on: unknown job grape
                  stop on: unknown event peach

              If  any  errors  are detected, the exit code will be 1 (one). If
              all checks pass, the exit code will be 0 (zero).

              Note that for complex start on and stop on conditions, this com-
              mand may give what appears to be misleading output when an error
              condition is found since all expressions in the  failing  condi-
              tion  that are in error will generate error output. For example,
              if job configuration /etc/init/bar.conf contains the following:

                start on (A and (started B or (starting C or D)))

              And only event A can be satisfied, the output will be:

                  start on: unknown job B
                  start on: unknown job C
                  start on: unknown event D


              -i [EVENTS], --ignore-events [EVENTS]

                     If specified, the argument should be a list of comma-sep-
                     arated  events to ignore when checking the job configura-
                     tion files.

                     This option may be useful to ignore errors if a  particu-
                     lar job configuration file does not advertise it emits an

              of 'early job' output data.  An early job is any job which  fin-
              ishes  before  the log disk becomes writeable. If job logging is
              not disabled, this command should be called once  the  log  disk
              becomes  writeable  to ensure that output from all early jobs is
              flushed. If the data is written successfully to disk, the inter-
              nal cache is deleted.

       usage  JOB [KEY=VALUE]...

              Show usage information an instance of the named JOB defined with
              usage stanza.

              For job with usage stanza a line like the following  is  output,
              see init(5) :

                Usage: tty DEV=ttyX - where X is console id

       Written  by  Scott  James  Remnant  <> and James Hunt

       Report bugs at <>

       Copyright (C) 2009-2011 Canonical Ltd.
       This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is
       NO  warranty;  not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR

       init(8) telinit(8) shutdown(8)

Upstart                           2011-06-02                        initctl(8)
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