start-stop-daemon(8) dpkg utilities start-stop-daemon(8)
start-stop-daemon - start and stop system daemon programs
start-stop-daemon -S|--start options [--] arguments
start-stop-daemon -K|--stop options
start-stop-daemon is used to control the creation and termination of
system-level processes. Using the --exec, --pidfile, --user, and
--name options, start-stop-daemon can be configured to find existing
instances of a running process.
With --start, start-stop-daemon checks for the existence of a specified
process. If such a process exists, start-stop-daemon does nothing, and
exits with error status 1 (0 if --oknodo is specified). If such a pro
cess does not exist, it starts an instance, using either the executable
specified by --exec, (or, if specified, by --startas). Any arguments
given after -- on the command line are passed unmodified to the program
With --stop, start-stop-daemon also checks for the existence of a spec
ified process. If such a process exists, start-stop-daemon sends it
the signal specified by --signal, and exits with error status 0. If
such a process does not exist, start-stop-daemon exits with error sta
tus 1 (0 if --oknodo is specified). If --retry is specified then
start-stop-daemon will check that the process(es) have terminated.
Note: unless --pidfile is specified, start-stop-daemon behaves similar
to killall(1). start-stop-daemon will scan the process table looking
for any processes which match the process name, uid, and/or gid (if
specified). Any matching process will prevent --start from starting the
daemon. All matching processes will be sent the KILL signal if --stop
is specified. For daemons which have long-lived children which need to
live through a --stop you must specify a pidfile.
Check for processes that are instances of this executable
(according to /proc/pid/exe).
Check whether a process has created the file pid-file.
Check for processes owned by the user specified by username or
Change to group or gid when starting the process.
Check for processes with the name process-name (according to
With --stop, specifies the signal to send to processes being
stopped (default 15).
With --stop, specifies that start-stop-daemon is to check
whether the process(es) do finish. It will check repeatedly
whether any matching processes are running, until none are. If
the processes do not exit it will then take further action as
determined by the schedule.
If timeout is specified instead of schedule then the schedule
signal/timeout/KILL/timeout is used, where signal is the signal
specified with --signal.
schedule is a list of at least two items separated by slashes
(/); each item may be -signal-number or [-]signal-name, which
means to send that signal, or timeout, which means to wait that
many seconds for processes to exit, or forever, which means to
repeat the rest of the schedule forever if necessary.
If the end of the schedule is reached and forever is not speci
fied, then start-stop-daemon exits with error status 2. If a
schedule is specified, then any signal specified with --signal
With --start, start the process specified by pathname. If not
specified, defaults to the argument given to --exec.
Print actions that would be taken and set appropriate return
value, but take no action.
Return exit status 0 instead of 1 if no actions are (would be)
Do not print informational messages; only display error mes
Change to this username/uid before starting the process. You can
also specify a group by appending a :, then the group or gid in
the same way as you would for the chown command (user:group).
When using this option you must realize that the primary and
supplemental groups are set as well, even if the --group option
is not specified. The --group option is only for groups that the
user isnt normally a member of (like adding per process group
membership for generic users like nobody).
Chdir and chroot to root before starting the process. Please
note that the pidfile is also written after the chroot.
Chdir to path before starting the process. This is done after
the chroot if the -r|--chroot option is set. When not specified,
start-stop-daemon will chdir to the root directory before start
ing the process.
Typically used with programs that dont detach on their own.
This option will force start-stop-daemon to fork before starting
the process, and force it into the background. WARNING:
start-stop-daemon cannot check the exit status if the process
fails to execute for any reason. This is a last resort, and is
only meant for programs that either make no sense forking on
their own, or where its not feasible to add the code for them
to do this themself.
This alters the priority of the process before starting it.
This sets the umask of the process before starting it.
Used when starting a program that does not create its own pid
file. This option will make start-stop-daemon create the file
referenced with --pidfile and place the pid into it just before
executing the process. Note, the file will not be removed when
stopping the program. NOTE: This feature may not work in all
cases. Most notably when the program being executed forks from
its main process. Because of this it is usually only useful when
combined with the --background option.
Print verbose informational messages.
Print help information; then exit.
Print version information; then exit.
Marek Michalkiewicz based on a pre
vious version by Ian Jackson .
Manual page by Klee Dienes , partially reformatted by Ian
Debian Project 2006-02-28 start-stop-daemon(8)