6.56. Sysvinit-2.86

The Sysvinit package contains programs for controlling the startup, running, and shutdown of the system.

Approximate build time: 0.1 SBU
Required disk space: 1012 KB
Installation depends on: Binutils, Coreutils, GCC, Glibc, and Make

6.56.1. Installation of Sysvinit

When run-levels are changed (for example, when halting the system), init sends termination signals to those processes that init itself started and that should not be running in the new run-level. While doing this, init outputs messages like “Sending processes the TERM signal” which seem to imply that it is sending these signals to all currently running processes. To avoid this misinterpretation, modify the source so that these messages read like “Sending processes started by init the TERM signal” instead:

sed -i 's@Sending processes@& started by init@g' \

Compile the package:

make -C src

Install the package:

make -C src install

6.56.2. Configuring Sysvinit

Create a new file /etc/inittab by running the following:

cat > /etc/inittab << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/inittab


si::sysinit:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc sysinit

l0:0:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 0
l1:S1:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 1
l2:2:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 2
l3:3:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 3
l4:4:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 4
l5:5:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 5
l6:6:wait:/etc/rc.d/init.d/rc 6

ca:12345:ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t1 -a -r now


1:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty1 9600
2:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty2 9600
3:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty3 9600
4:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty4 9600
5:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty5 9600
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -I '\033(K' tty6 9600

# End /etc/inittab

The -I '\033(K' option tells agetty to send this escape sequence to the terminal before doing anything else. This escape sequence switches the console character set to a user-defined one, which can be modified by running the setfont program. The console initscript from the LFS-Bootscripts package calls the setfont program during system startup. Sending this escape sequence is necessary for people who use non-ISO 8859-1 screen fonts, but it does not affect native English speakers.

6.56.3. Contents of Sysvinit

Installed programs: halt, init, killall5, last, lastb (link to last), mesg, pidof (link to killall5), poweroff (link to halt), reboot (link to halt), runlevel, shutdown, sulogin, telinit (link to init), utmpdump, and wall

Short Descriptions


Normally invokes shutdown with the -h option, except when already in run-level 0, then it tells the kernel to halt the system; it notes in the file /var/log/wtmp that the system is being brought down


The first process to be started when the kernel has initialized the hardware which takes over the boot process and starts all the proceses it is instructed to


Sends a signal to all processes, except the processes in its own session so it will not kill the shell running the script that called it


Shows which users last logged in (and out), searching back through the /var/log/wtmp file; it also shows system boots, shutdowns, and run-level changes


Shows the failed login attempts, as logged in /var/log/btmp


Controls whether other users can send messages to the current user's terminal


Checks if the directory is a mountpoint


Reports the PIDs of the given programs


Tells the kernel to halt the system and switch off the computer (see halt)


Tells the kernel to reboot the system (see halt)


Reports the previous and the current run-level, as noted in the last run-level record in /var/run/utmp


Brings the system down in a secure way, signaling all processes and notifying all logged-in users


Allows root to log in; it is normally invoked by init when the system goes into single user mode


Tells init which run-level to change to


Displays the content of the given login file in a more user-friendly format


Writes a message to all logged-in users