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     openrc-run — a means of hooking shell commands into a service


     openrc-run [-D, --nodeps] [-d, --debug] [-s, --ifstarted]
                [-S, --ifstopped] [-Z, --dry-run] [command ...]


     openrc-run is basically an interpreter for shell scripts which provides
     an easy interface to the often complex system commands and daemons.  When
     a service runs a command it first loads its multiplexed configuration
     file, then its master configuration file, then /etc/rc.conf and finally
     the script itself. At this point openrc-run then runs the command given.

     Commands are defined as shell functions within the script. Here is a list
     of some functions that all scripts have by default:

     describe         Describes what the service does and each command the
                      service defines.

     start            First we ensure that any services we depend on are
                      started. If any needed services fail to start then we
                      exit with a suitable error, otherwise call the supplied
                      start function if it exists.

     stop             First we ensure that any services that depend on us are
                      stopped. If any services that need us fail to stop then
                      we exit with a suitable error, otherwise call the
                      supplied stop function if it exists.

     restart          Stops and starts the service, including dependencies.
                      This cannot be overridden. See the description of the
                      RC_CMD variable below for the method to make your
                      service behave differently when restart is being

     status           Shows the status of the service. The return code matches
                      the status, with the exception of "started" returning 0
                      to match standard command behaviour.

     zap              Resets the service state to stopped and removes all
                      saved data about the service.

     The following options affect how the service is run:

     -d, --debug      Set xtrace on in the shell to assist in debugging.

     -D, --nodeps     Ignore all dependency information the service supplies.

     -s, --ifstarted  Only run the command if the service has been started.

     -S, --ifstopped  Only run the command if the service has been stopped.

     -q, --quiet      Turns off all informational output the service
                      generates.  Output from any non OpenRC commands is not

     -v, --verbose    Turns on any extra informational output the service

     -Z, --dry-run    Shows which services would be stopped and/or started
                      without actually stopping or starting them.

     The following variables affect the service script:

     extra_commands   Space separated list of extra commands the service
                      defines. These should not depend on the service being
                      stopped or started.

                      Space separated list of extra commands the service
                      defines. These only work if the service has already been

                      Space separated list of extra commands the service
                      defines. These only work if the service has already been

     description      String describing the service.

                      String describing the extra command.

                      List of arguments passed to start-stop-daemon when
                      starting the daemon.

     command          Daemon to start or stop via start-stop-daemon if no
                      start or stop function is defined by the service.

     command_args     List of arguments to pass to the daemon when starting.

                      Set this to "true", "yes" or "1" (case-insensitive) to
                      force the daemon into the background. This implies the
                      "--make-pidfile" and "--pidfile" option of
                      start-stop-daemon(8) so the pidfile variable must be

     pidfile          Pidfile to use for the above defined command.

     name             Display name used for the above defined command.

     retry            Retry schedule to use when stopping the daemon. It can
                      either be a timeout in seconds or multiple
                      signal/timeout pairs (like SIGTERM/5).

     required_dirs    A list of directories which must exist for the service
                      to start.

     required_files   A list of files which must exist for the service to


     You should define a depend function for the service so that openrc-run
     will start and stop it in the right order in relation to other services.
     As it's a function it can be very flexible, see the example below.  Here
     is a list of the functions you can use in a depend function. You simply
     pass the names of the services to it to add to that dependency type, or
     prefix it with ! to remove it.

     need             The service will refuse to start until needed services
                      have started and it will refuse to stop until any
                      services that need it have stopped.

     use              The service will attempt to start any services we use
                      that have been added to the runlevel.

     after            The service will start after these services and stop
                      before these services.

     before           The service will start before these services and stop
                      after these services.

     provide          We provide this virtual service. For example, named
                      provides dns.  Virtual services take precedence over
                      real services, so it is highly recommended that you do
                      not have a real service that has the same name as a
                      virtual service.

     config           We should recalculate our dependencies if the listed
                      files have changed.

     keyword          Tags a service with a keyword. These are the keywords we
                      currently understand:

                              Don't stop this service when shutting the system
                              down.  This is normally quite safe as remaining
                              daemons will be sent a SIGTERM just before final
                              shutdown.  Network related services such as the
                              network and dhcpcd init scripts normally have
                              this keyword.

                      -stop   Don't stop this service when changing runlevels,
                              even if not present.  This includes shutting the
                              system down.

                              Other services should wait indefinitely for this
                              service to start. Use this keyword if your
                              service may take longer than 60 seconds to

                      -jail   When in a jail, exclude this service from any
                              dependencies. The service can still be run
                              directly. Set via rc_sys in /etc/rc.conf

                      -lxc    Same as -jail, but for Linux Resource Containers

                              Same as -jail, but for OpenVZ systems.

                              Same as -jail, but for Prefix systems.

                      -uml    Same as -jail, but for UML systems.

                              Same as -jail, but for VServer systems.

                      -xen0   Same as -jail, but for Xen DOM0 systems.

                      -xenu   Same as -jail, but for Xen DOMU systems.

     To see how to influence dependencies in configuration files, see the
     FILES section below.


     openrc-run defines some builtin functions that you can use inside your
     service scripts:

     einfo [string]
             Output a green asterisk followed by the string.

     ewarn [string]
             Output a yellow asterisk followed by the string.

     eerror [string]
             Output a red asterisk followed by the string to stderr.

     ebegin [string]
             Same as einfo, but append 3 dots to the end.

     eend retval [string]
             If retval does not equal 0 then output the string using eerror
             and !! in square brackets at the end of the line.  Otherwise
             output ok in square brackets at the end of the line.  The value
             of retval is returned.

     ewend retval [string]
             Same as eend, but use ewarn instead of eerror.

     You can prefix the above commands with the letter v, which means they
     only output when the environment variable EINFO_VERBOSE is true.

     ewaitfile timeout file1 file2 ...
             Wait for timeout seconds until all files exist.  Returns 0 if all
             files exist, otherwise non zero.  If timeout is less than 1 then
             we wait indefinitely.

     is_newer_than file1 file2 ...
             If file1 is newer than file2 return 0, otherwise 1.  If file2 is
             a directory, then check all its contents too.

     is_older_than file1 file2 ...
             If file1 is newer than file2 return 0, otherwise 1.  If file2 is
             a directory, then check all its contents too.

     service_set_value name value
             Saves the name value for later retrieval. Saved values are lost
             when the service stops.

     service_get_value name
             Returns the saved value called name.

     service_started [service]
             If the service is started, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_starting [service]
             If the service is starting, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_inactive [service]
             If the service is inactive, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_stopping [service]
             If the service is stopping, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_stopped [service]
             If the service is stopped, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_coldplugged [service]
             If the service is coldplugged, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_wasinactive [service]
             If the service was inactive, return 0 otherwise 1.

     service_started_daemon [service] daemon [index]
             If the service has started the daemon using start-stop-daemon,
             return 0 otherwise 1.  If an index is specified, it has to be the
             nth daemon started by the service.

     mark_service_started [service]
             Mark the service as started.

     mark_service_starting [service]
             Mark the service as starting.

     mark_service_inactive [service]
             Mark the service as inactive.

     mark_service_stopping [service]
             Mark the service as stopping.

     mark_service_stopped [service]
             Mark the service as stopped.

     mark_service_coldplugged [service]
             Mark the service as coldplugged.

     mark_service_wasinactive [service]
             Mark the service as inactive.

     checkpath [-D, --directory-truncate] [-d, --directory] [-F,
             --file-truncate] [-f, --file] [-p, --pipe] [-m, --mode mode] [-o,
             -owner owner] path ...
             Checks to see if the path exists, is of the right type, owned by
             the right people and has the correct access modes. If not, then
             it corrects the path.

             [-W, --writable] path
              checks to see if the path is writable.

     yesno value
             If value matches YES, TRUE, ON or 1 regardless of case then we
             return 0, otherwise 1.


     openrc-run sets the following environment variables for use in the
     service scripts:

     RC_SVCNAME       Name of the service.

     RC_RUNLEVEL      Current runlevel that OpenRC is in. Note that, in
                      OpenRC, the reboot runlevel is mapped to the shutdown
                      runlevel. This was done because most services do not
                      need to know if a system is shutting down or rebooting.
                      If you are writing a service that does need to know
                      this, see the RC_REBOOT variable.

     RC_REBOOT        This variable contains YES if the system is rebooting.
                      If your service needs to know the system is rebooting,
                      you should test this variable.

     RC_BOOTLEVEL     Boot runlevel chosen. Default is boot.

     RC_DEFAULTLEVEL  Default runlevel chosen. Default is default.

     RC_SYS           A special variable to describe the system more.
                      Possible values are OPENVZ, XENU, XEN0, UML and VSERVER.

     RC_PREFIX        In a Gentoo Prefix installation, this variable contains
                      the prefix offset. Otherwise it is undefined.

     RC_UNAME         The result of `uname -s`.

     RC_CMD           This contains the name of the command the service script
                      is executing, such as start, stop, restart etc. One
                      example of using this is to make a service script behave
                      differently when restart is being executed.


     Configuration files, relative to the location of the service.  If a file
     ending with .${RC_RUNLEVEL} exists then we use that instead.

     multiplexed configuration file.  Example: if ${RC_SVCNAME} is net.eth1
     then look for ../conf.d/net.

     service configuration file.

     host configuration file.

     With the exception of /etc/rc.conf, the configuration files can also
     influence the dependencies of the service through variables. Simply
     prefix the name of the dependency with rc_.  Examples:

           # Whilst most services don't bind to a specific interface, our
           # openvpn configuration requires a specific interface, namely bge0.
           # To put it in /etc/rc.conf you would do it like this

           # Services should not depend on the tap1 interface for network,
           # but we need to add net.tap1 to the default runlevel to start it.
           # To put it in /etc/conf.d/net you would do it like this
           # To put in in /etc/rc.conf you would do it like this

           # It's also possible to negate keywords. This is mainly useful for prefix
           # users testing OpenRC.


     An example service script for foo.

           command_args="${foo_args} --bar"
           name="FooBar Daemon"

           description="FooBar is a daemon that eats and drinks"
           extra_started_commands="drink eat"
           description_drink="Opens mouth and reflexively swallows"
           description_eat="Chews food in mouth"
           description_show="Shows what's in the tummy"

               grep -q dbus /etc/foo/plugins

               # We write a pidfile and to /var/cache, so we need localmount.
               need localmount
               # We can optionally use the network, but it's not essential.
               use net
               # We should be after bootmisc so that /var/run is cleaned before
               # we put our pidfile there.
               after bootmisc

               # Foo may use a dbus plugin.
               # However, if we add the dbus plugin whilst foo is running and
               # stop dbus, we don't need to stop foo as foo didn't use dbus.
               config /etc/foo/plugins
               local _need=
               if service_started; then
                   _need=`service_get_value need`
                   if _need_dbus; then
                      _need="${_need} dbus"
               need ${_need}

           # This function does any pre-start setup. If it fails, the service will
           # not be started.
           # If you need this function to behave differently for a restart command,
           # you should check the value of RC_CMD for "restart".
           # This also applies to start_post, stop_pre and stop_post.
                   if [ "$RC_CMD" = restart ]; then
                           # This block will only execute for a restart command. Use a
                           # structure like this if you need special processing for a
                           # restart which you do not need for a normal start.
                           # The function can also fail from here, which will mean that a
                           # restart can fail.
                           # This logic can also be used in start_post, stop_pre and
                           # stop_post.
               # Ensure that our dirs are correct
               checkpath --directory --owner foo:foo --mode 0775 \
                   /var/run/foo /var/cache/foo

               # Save our need
               if _need_dbus; then
                   service_set_value need dbus

           stop_post() {
               # Clean any spills
               rm -rf /var/cache/foo/*

               ebegin "Starting to drink"
               ${command} --drink beer
               eend $? "Failed to drink any beer :("

               local result=0 retval= ate= food=
               ebegin "Starting to eat"

               if yesno "${foo_diet}"; then
                   eend 1 "We are on a diet!"
                   return 1

               for food in /usr/share/food/*; do
                   veinfo "Eating `basename ${food}`"
                   ${command} --eat ${food}
                   : $(( result += retval ))
                   [ ${retval} = 0 ] && ate="${ate} `basename ${food}`"

               if eend ${result} "Failed to eat all the food"; then
                   service_set_value ate "${ate}"

               einfo "Foo has eaten: `service_get_value ate`"


     Because of the way we load our configuration files and the need to handle
     more than one service directory, you can only use symlinks in service
     directories to other services in the same directory.  You cannot symlink
     to a service in a different directory even if it is another service

     is_older_than should return 0 on success.  Instead we return 1 to be
     compliant with Gentoo baselayout.  Users are encouraged to use the
     is_newer_than function which returns correctly.


     einfo(3), openrc(8), rc-status(8), rc-update(8), rc_plugin_hook(3),
     sh(1p), start-stop-daemon(8), uname(1)


     Roy Marples <>

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