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A [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(computing)|daemon]], or service, is a background process usually started during the initial boot sequence by [[init]]. Daemons typically run independent of users, waiting for system events to occur and providing services in response. Some common daemons include: A [[WikiPedia:Daemon_(computing)|daemon]], or service, is a background process usually started during the initial boot sequence by [[init]]. Daemons typically run independent of users, waiting for system events to occur and providing services in response. Some common daemons include:
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Debian makes use of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Init#SysV-style|System V]]-style init scripts for daemon management. This allows daemons to operate conditionally, based on the current RunLevel of the computer. For example, a daemon can be configured to run only when the computer is in single-user mode (runlevel 1) or, more commonly, when in multi-user mode (runlevels 2-5). For more information, see RunLevel. Debian makes use of [[WikiPedia:Init#SysV-style|System V]]-style init scripts for daemon management. This allows daemons to operate conditionally, based on the current RunLevel of the computer. For example, a daemon can be configured to run only when the computer is in single-user mode (runlevel 1) or, more commonly, when in multi-user mode (runlevels 2-5). For more information, see RunLevel.

Translation(s): English


A daemon, or service, is a background process usually started during the initial boot sequence by ?init. Daemons typically run independent of users, waiting for system events to occur and providing services in response. Some common daemons include:

  • sshd - listens for and manages incoming ?SSH connections

  • acpid - listens for power management events and executes scripts based on them

  • apache - provides a local HTTP web server

Managing daemons in Debian

Debian makes use of System V-style init scripts for daemon management. This allows daemons to operate conditionally, based on the current RunLevel of the computer. For example, a daemon can be configured to run only when the computer is in single-user mode (runlevel 1) or, more commonly, when in multi-user mode (runlevels 2-5). For more information, see RunLevel.

Daemon configuration

Note: Many daemons provide essential services to a working Debian installation; others can pose unnecessary security risks when enabled carelessly. Caution should be used whenever managing daemons. When in doubt, refer to the documentation of the daemon itself.

Start, stop and reload daemons

The easiest way to manually (and temporarily) start, stop or reload a daemon is to run the following in a terminal as root:

# /etc/init.d/daemonname [stop|start|restart]

Controlling daemons in this manner is temporary and will not survive a reboot. Refer to the next section to manage daemons on a more permanent basis.

Enable/disable daemons

See also