RC(8)                      BSD System Manager's Manual                     RC(8)

     rc — command scripts for auto-reboot and daemon startup


     The rc utility is the command script which controls the automatic boot
     process after being called by init(8).  The rc.local script contains
     commands which are pertinent only to a specific site.  Typically, the
     /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ mechanism is used instead of rc.local these days but
     if you want to use rc.local, it is still supported.  In this case, it
     should source /etc/rc.conf and contain additional custom startup code for
     your system.  The best way to handle rc.local, however, is to separate it
     out into rc.d/ style scripts and place them under /usr/local/etc/rc.d/.
     The rc.conf file contains the global system configuration information
     referenced by the startup scripts, while rc.conf.local contains the local
     system configuration.  See rc.conf(5) for more information.

     The rc.d/ directories contain scripts which will be automatically executed
     at boot time and shutdown time.

     The service(8) command provides a convenient interface to manage rc.d

     The sysrc(8) command provides a scripting interface to modify system config

   Operation of rc
     1.   If autobooting, set autoboot=yes and enable a flag (rc_fast=yes),
          which prevents the rc.d/ scripts from performing the check for already
          running processes (thus speeding up the boot process).  This
          rc_fast=yes speedup will not occur when rc is started up after exiting
          the single-user shell.

     2.   Determine whether the system is booting diskless, and if so run the
          /etc/rc.initdiskless script.

     3.   Source /etc/rc.subr to load various rc.subr(8) shell functions to use.

     4.   Load the configuration files.

     5.   Determine if booting in a jail, and add “nojail” (no jails allowed) or
          “nojailvnet” (only allow vnet-enabled jails) to the list of KEYWORDS
          to skip in rcorder(8).

     6.   If the file ${firstboot_sentinel} does not exist, add “firstboot” to
          the list of KEYWORDS to skip in rcorder(8).

     7.   Invoke rcorder(8) to order the files in /etc/rc.d/ that do not have a
          “nostart” KEYWORD (refer to rcorder(8)'s -s flag).

     8.   Call each script in turn using run_rc_script() (from rc.subr(8)),
          which sets $1 to “start”, and sources the script in a subshell.  Stop
          processing when the script that is the value of the
          $early_late_divider has been run.

     9.   Check again to see if the file ${firstboot_sentinel} exists (in case
          it is located on a newly mounted file system) and adjust the list of
          KEYWORDs to skip appropriately.

     10.  Re-run rcorder(8), this time including the scripts in the
          $local_startup directories.  Ignore everything up to the
          $early_late_divider, then start executing the scripts as described

     11.  If the file ${firstboot_sentinel} exists, delete it.  If the file
          ${firstboot_sentinel}-reboot also exists (because it was created by a
          script), then delete it and reboot.

   Operation of rc.shutdown
     1.   Source /etc/rc.subr to load various rc.subr(8) shell functions to use.

     2.   Load the configuration files.

     3.   Invoke rcorder(8) to order the files in /etc/rc.d/ and the
          $local_startup directories that have a “shutdown” KEYWORD (refer to
          rcorder(8)'s -k flag), reverse that order, and assign the result to a

     4.   Call each script in turn using run_rc_script() (from rc.subr(8)),
          which sets $1 to “faststop”, and sources the script in a subshell.

   Contents of rc.d/
     rc.d/ is located in /etc/rc.d/.  The following file naming conventions are
     currently used in rc.d/:

           ALLUPPERCASE  Scripts that are “placeholders” to ensure that certain
                         operations are performed before others.  In order of
                         startup, these are:

                         NETWORKING  Ensure basic network services are running,
                                     including general network configuration.

                         SERVERS     Ensure basic services exist for services
                                     that start early (such as nisdomain),
                                     because they are required by DAEMON below.

                         DAEMON      Check-point before all general purpose
                                     daemons such as lpd and ntpd.

                         LOGIN       Check-point before user login services
                                     (inetd and sshd), as well as services which
                                     might run commands as users (cron and

           bar           Scripts that are sourced in a subshell.  The boot does
                         not stop if such a script terminates with a non-zero
                         status, but a script can stop the boot if necessary by
                         invoking the stop_boot() function (from rc.subr(8)).

     Each script should contain rcorder(8) keywords, especially an appropriate
     “PROVIDE” entry, and if necessary “REQUIRE” and “BEFORE” keywords.

     Each script is expected to support at least the following arguments, which
     are automatically supported if it uses the run_rc_command() function:

           start    Start the service.  This should check that the service is to
                    be started as specified by rc.conf(5).  Also checks if the
                    service is already running and refuses to start if it is.
                    This latter check is not performed by standard FreeBSD
                    scripts if the system is starting directly to multi-user
                    mode, to speed up the boot process.  If forcestart is given,
                    ignore the rc.conf(5) check and start anyway.

           stop     If the service is to be started as specified by rc.conf(5),
                    stop the service.  This should check that the service is
                    running and complain if it is not.  If forcestop is given,
                    ignore the rc.conf(5) check and attempt to stop.

           restart  Perform a stop then a start.

           status   If the script starts a process (rather than performing a
                    one-off operation), show the status of the process.
                    Otherwise it is not necessary to support this argument.
                    Defaults to displaying the process ID of the program (if

                    Print a short description of what the script does.

                    Print the script's non-standard commands.

           poll     If the script starts a process (rather than performing a
                    one-off operation), wait for the command to exit.  Otherwise
                    it is not necessary to support this argument.

           enabled  Return 0 if the service is enabled and 1 if it is not.  This
                    command does not print anything.

           rcvar    Display which rc.conf(5) variables are used to control the
                    startup of the service (if any).

     If a script must implement additional commands it can list them in the
     extra_commands variable, and define their actions in a variable constructed
     from the command name (see the EXAMPLES section).

     The following key points apply to old-style scripts in

     Scripts are only executed if their basename(1) matches the shell
         globbing pattern *.sh, and they are executable.  Any other files or
         directories present within the directory are silently ignored.

     When a script is executed at boot time, it is passed the string “start”
         as its first and only argument.  At shutdown time, it is passed the
         string “stop” as its first and only argument.  All rc.d/ scripts are
         expected to handle these arguments appropriately.  If no action needs
         to be taken at a given time (either boot time or shutdown time), the
         script should exit successfully and without producing an error message.

     The scripts within each directory are executed in lexicographical
         order.  If a specific order is required, numbers may be used as a
         prefix to the existing filenames, so for example 100.foo would be
         executed before 200.bar; without the numeric prefixes the opposite
         would be true.

     The output from each script is traditionally a space character,
         followed by the name of the software package being started or shut
         down, without a trailing newline character (see the EXAMPLES section).

     When an automatic reboot is in progress, rc is invoked with the argument
     autoboot.  One of the scripts run from /etc/rc.d/ is /etc/rc.d/fsck.  This
     script runs fsck(8) with option -p and -F to “preen” all the disks of minor
     inconsistencies resulting from the last system shutdown.  If this fails,
     then checks/repairs of serious inconsistencies caused by hardware or
     software failure will be performed in the background at the end of the
     booting process.  If autoboot is not set, when going from single-user to
     multi-user mode for example, the script does not do anything.

     The /etc/rc.d/local script can execute scripts from multiple rc.d/
     directories.  The default location includes /usr/local/etc/rc.d/, but these
     may be overridden with the local_startup rc.conf(5) variable.

     The /etc/rc.d/serial script is used to set any special configurations for
     serial devices.

     The rc.firewall script is used to configure rules for the kernel based
     firewall service.  It has several possible options:

           open      will allow anyone in
           client    will try to protect just this machine
           simple    will try to protect a whole network
           closed    totally disables IP services except via lo0 interface
           UNKNOWN   disables the loading of firewall rules
           filename  will load the rules in the given filename (full path

     The /etc/rc.d/atm* scripts are used to configure ATM network interfaces.
     The interfaces are configured in three passes.  The first pass performs the
     initial interface configuration.  The second pass completes the interface
     configuration and defines PVCs and permanent ATMARP entries.  The third
     pass starts any ATM daemons.

     Most daemons, including network related daemons, have their own script in
     /etc/rc.d/, which can be used to start, stop, and check the status of the

     Any architecture specific scripts, such as /etc/rc.d/apm for example,
     specifically check that they are on that architecture before starting the

     Following tradition, all startup files reside in /etc.

     /var/run/dmesg.boot               dmesg(8) results soon after the rc
                                       process begins.  Useful when dmesg(8)
                                       buffer in the kernel no longer has this

     The following is a minimal rc.d/ style script.  Most scripts require little
     more than the following.


           # PROVIDE: foo
           # REQUIRE: bar_service_required_to_precede_foo

           . /etc/rc.subr


           load_rc_config $name
           run_rc_command "$1"

     Certain scripts may want to provide enhanced functionality.  The user may
     access this functionality through additional commands.  The script may list
     and define as many commands at it needs.


           # PROVIDE: foo
           # REQUIRE: bar_service_required_to_precede_foo
           # BEFORE:  baz_service_requiring_foo_to_precede_it

           . /etc/rc.subr

           extra_commands="nop hello"
           hello_cmd="echo Hello World."

                   echo "I do nothing."

           load_rc_config $name
           run_rc_command "$1"

     As all processes are killed by init(8) at shutdown, the explicit kill(1) is
     unnecessary, but is often included.

     kill(1), rc.conf(5), init(8), rc.resume(8), rc.subr(8), rcorder(8),
     reboot(8), savecore(8), service(8), sysrc(8)

     The rc utility appeared in 4.0BSD.

BSD                              August 7, 2019                              BSD