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Recipe 7.9. Manually Starting and Stopping Services

7.9.1 Problem

You need to start, stop, or restart a service, but you don't want to make it permanent. Maybe your network connection has wedged or your web server has died. Or you changed the configuration file for a service, and need to restart it to activate the changes. Or you are testing a new service, so you want to start it up only when you're testing it.

7.9.2 Solution

Run the program's startup script in /init.d. Find the appropriate script in init.d, then read the script to see the available options. For example, restarting networking is a common need. Take a look in /etc/init.d/networking:

echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/networking {start|stop|restart|force-reload}"

There's a line like this in every init script. Another way to get this information is to run the script with no arguments:

# /etc/init.d/networking

Usage: /etc/init.d/networking {start|stop|restart|force-reload}

So, to stop networking, use the command:

# /etc/init.d/networking stop

7.9.3 Discussion

For any program that has a startup script, it is preferable to use the script, rather than executing the program's binary, because the script includes include error and file checking, and any needed conditional tests.

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