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Manage System Services

January 26, 2010 — BarryK
The BootManager now manages the running of "system services" at bootup.

The main window of BootManager now looks like this:

The Manage System Services window:

The 'HELP' button brings up this:
System services


...this word is used below. It means an application that when executed, runs
continually in the background.

The scripts in /etc/init.d are executed at bootup and shutdown to start and stop

At bootup, the /etc/rc.d/ script will run all executable scripts
found in /etc/init.d, with the commandline parameter 'start'.
At shutdown, the /etc/rc.d/rc.shutdown script will run all executable scripts
found in /etc/init.d, with the commandline parameter 'stop'.

Puppies built from the Woof build system after January 26, 2010, have System
Service Management provided in the BootManager (see Sysytem menu).
This Services Manager controls which of these scripts will run by setting or
clearing their 'executable' flag -- a script flagged as executable will run,
otherwise not.

System Services Management

Most users do not normally need to disable any of the system services, however
sometimes there might be a need.

Each service uses CPU and memory resources, so with a slow CPU there may be
some noticeable gain in not running services that are not needed.

On rare occasions a service may cause trouble, so needs to be disabled.

Here are some notes on particular services:

This runs the CUPS daemon 'dbusd', required for printing. Leave this enabled unless
you don't need to print.

Runs the daemon 'dbusd'.
DBUS is a method for applications to communicate with one another. Only certain
applications use this, and most puppies are built with apps that don't.
If 'messagebus' script is present, it probably means some application is installed
that needs DBUS. An example is 'gecko-mediaplayer' (browser plugin) that uses DBUS
to communicate with 'gnome-mplayer' (multimedia player). So, unless you know
that no apps require this, leave it enabled.

Runs the daemon 'acpid'.
This is a daemon that provides certain ACPI management functions. Puppy will
still work without it.

In most puppies this scipt is actually located at /etc/rc.d. If you have Internet
access then this is essential to provide protection. It doesn't actually launch
any daemon, only loads kernel modules, so runtime resource usage is low.
The only time that you might want to disable it is when testing the Internet

Runs the daemon 'slmodemd'.
This provides support for some analog dialup modems. There are reports that
this can conflict with sound on some PCs, so if you don't use an analog modem
for Internet access, or a different modem driver, consider disabling this.

This runs the daemons 'syslogd' and 'klogd', which log kernel and application
events (espcially error messages) to various log files, mostly to
/var/log/messages. This can be disabled and Puppy will still work.

Runs the daemons 'udevd' and 'pup_event_frontend_d'.
This is a mechanism that receives information about hardware events from the kernel,
such as a USB pen drive being plugged in or removed. If you don't want automatic
detection of hardware changes while Puppy is running, Puppy will still work
and you will save quite a lot of CPU usage and resources -- worth considering
this one on a very slow CPU.
This one is different from those listed above, as 'udevd' is essential during
bootup. However, it can be killed after bootup -- it involves the daemon 'udevd'
and the daemon 'pup_event_frontend_d' and if disabled these two are killed when
X is started. The technical description is that when X starts, /root/.xinitrc
runs, which launches /sbin/pup_event_frontend_d -- look in that latter script
and you will see that it reads /etc/eventmanager which has a variable 'BACKENDON'
that can be set to kill udevd and pup_event_frontend_d.
There is a GUI manager for this, the EventManager (see System menu), and changing
the 'udev' checkbox will cause the EventManager to run.

Technical notes

At startup, the system services are executed by /etc/rc.d/, which
in turn is called from /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.

At shutdown, the system servcies are executed (with the 'stop' parameter) by

Puppy does not have runlevels (basically because Busybox doesn't, at least that
was the original reason). Normal Linux distros would have a list of services to
start for each runlevel, but apart from not having runlevels Puppy also only
runs a very minimum essential set of services, that most users would not want
to tamper with.

Note that /etc/rc.d/init.d is a symlink to /etc/init.d

Note, the scripts in /etc/init.d can have any name, but must have their executable
flag set. Any file that does not have the 'x' flag set will be ignored.

Event Management, which is mostly concerned with hardware-related detection and
configuration while X is running, is described in more detail on this web page:

Barry Kauler
Jan. 2010

The script is /usr/sbin/bootmanager. I also modified /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit -- syslogd and klogd are no longer started in that script, instead in /etc/init.d/00sys_logger.

Management of "udev" is more involved. The 'udevd' daemon must run at startup, but can be killed later. If the 'udev' checkbox is changed, the Puppy EventManager is launched, which provides the GUI for enablng and disabling udev.

The Manage System Services window can be brought up directly from the commandline by this:

# bootmanager sysdaemons

This is implemented in Woof, that I will upload soon.

Tags: woof