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While booting in your Linux box you may have noticed that a lot of services are starting and therefore the boot process is a bit slow. Here i'll show you how to enable/disable system services and which ones are essential for your system. Services names are taken from Fedora Core 6 but most of them are common for all Linux distros.

First of all some things about runlevels. Each one has a different purpose. In most Linux distributions runlevels are organised like this

iD  Name                                          Description
1  Single-User Mode                        Does not configure network interfaces, start daemons, or allow non-root logins.
2  Multi-User Mode                          Does not configure network interfaces or start daemons.
3  Multi-User Mode with Networking  Starts the system normally.
4  Unused  
5  X11                                            Runlevel 3 + X Window System.

To find out how runlevels are organised in your distro take a look in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runlevels

In order to determine the runlevels in which a service is on or off we type
chkconfig --level 2345 service on/off

Now we have to find what services are running in our system. The following command gives us all the necessary information
/sbin/chkconfig --list

Of course in each distro there are graphical intefaces doing this job. In Fedora Core/Red Hat systems you can type
system-config-services
or go to [System menu] > Administration > Server Settings > Services

From menu check Edit Runlevel menu -> Runlevels All to change runlevels 3, 4 and 5 at once.

Below there's a list of the most common services in Linux distros. After each service a brief description of the latter is given along with it's recommended status. Please have a look at this description before setting it to the recommended value since your needs may be different than mine.


* acpid
It controls system's power management
Status: Enabled

* anacron
Runs cron jobs
Status: Enabled

* atd
Similar to cron
Status: Disabled

* autofs
Automounts filesystems on demand
Status: Enabled

* ahavi-daemon
Zeroconf stuff
Status: Disabled

* avavi-dnsconfd
DNS Zeroconf stuff
Status: Disabled

* bluetooth
Needed only if bluetooth devices are present
Status: Disabled

* cpuspeed
Dynamic cpu speed daemon.
Status: Enabled only if your cpu supports throttling

* crond
Scheduled tasks
Status: Enabled

* cups
Controls Common UNIX Printing System
Status: Enabled if printer is present

* dhcdbd
D-BUS control of the ISC DHCP client
Status: Disabled

* diskdump
Create dump file if system crashed
Status: Disabled

* firstboot
Quite obvious
Status: Disabled (You have already done your first boot :P )

* gpm
Mouse support in terminal
Status: Disabled

* haldaemon
Daemon for collecting and maintaing information about hardware
Status: Enabled

* hplip
HP Printer Service
Status: Enabled only if you have an HP printer or scanner

* iptables
Firewall
Status: Enabled

* irda
Controls infrared adaptors
Status: Enabled only if an infrared adaptor is present

* irqbalance
Spreads the load across the cpus on a multiprocessor system
Status: Enabled if a multriprocessor cpu is present

* kudzu
Checks for new hardware.
Status: Disabled (Enable only if you change your hardaware)

* lm_sensors
Monitors motherboard sensor values.
Status: Enabled (all new motherboards have sensors)

* mcstrans
Starts the SELinux Context Translation System Daemon
Status: Enabled only if SELinux is enabled

* mdmonitor
Software RAID monitoring and management
Status: Enabled only if RAID is present

* messagebus
System messenger dbus
Status: Enabled

* netdump
Netconsole and netcrashdump utility
Status: Disabled

* netfs
Mounts and unmounts network filesystems
Status: Enabled

* netplugd
on-static network interfaces management
Status: Disabled

* network
Activats/deactivates network interfaces
Status: Enabled (Unless you have nothing to do with ethernet and wireless networks)

* nfs
* nfslock

File sharing between Linux boxes
Status: Disabled (Unless you have a Linux-Linux LAN)


* nscd
Handles passwd and group lookups for running programs
Status: Disabled

* ntpd
Network Time Protol
Status: Disabled

* pcscd
Resource manager for the PC/SC lite and Musclecard frameworks
Status: Disabled

* portmap
Manages RPC connections used by protocols such as NFS and NIS
Status: Disabled (Unless you use the above protocols)

* postfix
Mail Transport Agent, which is the program that moves mail from one machine to another.
Status: Disabled

* rdisk
Discovers routers on the local subnet
Status: Disabled

* readahead_early
* readahead_later

Loads into memory programs before they are needed
Status: Enabled

* rpcgssd
* rpcidmapd
* rpcsvcgssd

NFSv4 helpers
Status: Disabled

* saslauthd
Handles plaintext authentication requests on behalf of the cyrus-sasl library.
Status: Disabled

* sendmail
Mail server
Status: Disabled

* smartd
Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART) Daemon
Status: Enabled

* sshd
SSH server
Status: Disabled (Unless needed)

* syslog
System logger
Status: Enabled

* vncserver
Remote desktop view
Status: Disabled




* ConsoleKit
The ConsoleKit maintains a list of sessions and therefore is useful if you use Fast User Switching. If you use gdm and Gnome leave this enabled.

* NetworkManager, NetworkManagerDispathcer
NetworkManager provides automatic network detection and configuration for the system. It is useful for modern laptops, where the user may move between wireless networks, and plug in to a variety of wired networks. Unless you are such a user disable it.

* anacron
Anacron can be used to execute commands periodically.  Unlike cron, it does not assume that the machine is running continuously.  Hence, it can be used on machines that aren't running 24 hours a day, to control daily, weekly, and monthly jobs that are usually controlled by cron. Leave it enabled.

* atd
atd runs jobs queued for later execution.

* auditd
auditd starts the Linux Auditing System Daemon. Leave it enabled especially if you are using SELinux.

* autofs
If you use removable disks such as usb sticks and usb hard drives leave this enabled to allow them be automounted.

* avahi-daemon
Unless you use ZeroConf stuff disable this.

* bluetooth
Unless you use bluetooth devices disable this.

* capi
Unless you have ISDN hardware disable this.

* cpuspeed
If your cpu allows throttling leave this enabled.

* crond
Scheduled tasks similar to anacron. Leave this enabled.

* cups
This controls Common UNIX Printing System. If you have a printer leave this enabled.

* dund
This is a Bluetooth Dial-Up-Networking Daemon. Unless you use one of that disable it.

* firstboot
Well, you have done your first boot, haven't you? So disable it.

* gpm
Mouse support in terminal. Unless you use it disable it.

* haldaemon
Daemon for collecting and maintaing information about hardware. It should be enabled.

* httpd
Unless you run an apache HTTP web server, disable this.

* ip6tables
IPv6 firewall. Unless you run using IPv6 (most users don't) disable this.

* iptables
This is the Linux Firewall. If you are contected to a Network/Internet leave this enabled.

* irda
This controls infrared adaptors. Unless you have one disable it.

* irqbalance
If you have a multi-core cpu, such as Core2Duo or AMD X2 leave this enabled.

* isdn
Unless you have ISDN hardware disable it.

* kudzu
This checks for new hardware pluged into your computer. Unless you change your hardware set it disabled.

* lisa
It provides something like a "network neighbourhood", but only relying on the TCP/IP protocol stack. If you use Samba or NFS set this disabled.

* lm_sensors
Monitors motherboard sensor values. Leave it enabled.

* mdmonitor
If you use software RAID or LVM leave it enabled.

* messagebus
System messenger that communicates with dbus. Leave it enabled.

* nasd
Network Audio System Deamon. Leave it enabled.

* netconsole
Initializes network console logging. Leave it disabled.

* netfs
Mounts and unmounts network filesystems such as NFS and Samba automatically. Unless you use Shared Files set it disabled.

* netplugd
netplugd is a daemon for managing non-static network interfaces. Leave it disabled.

* network
It controles ethernet and wireless network devices. Leave it enabled unless you are not using any of these cards.

* nfs, nfslock
Unless you have a Linux-Linux LAN disable those.

* nscd
It handles passwd and group lookups for running programs. You should start this daemon if you use slow naming services like NIS, NIS+, LDAP, or hesiod. In any other case leave it disabled.

* ntpd
The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is used to synchronize the time of a computer to reference time source. Leave this enabled unless you have a dual boot system in which Windows controls system time.

* nvidia
This script will check if a nvidia kernel module is present for the running kernel and modify the xorg.conf to  the appropriate configuration. If you have an nVidia card this should be enabled.

* pand
Bluetooth Personal Area Networking Daemon. Provides network services over Bluetooth. Unless you use such services disable it.

* pcscd
Resource manager for the PC/SC lite and Musclecard frameworks. Unless you use such cards disable it.

* rdisc
This discovers routers on the local subnet. Disable it.

* readahead_early, readahead_later
Loads into memory programs before they are needed. Leave it enabled if you want applications to start faster.

* restorecond
restorecond uses inotify to look for creation of new files listed in the /etc/selinux/restorecond.conf file, and restores the correct security context. If you use SELinux leave it enabled.

* rpcbind, rpcgssd, rpcidmapd, rpcsvcgssd
Unless you use NFS v4 set those services disabled.

* rsyslog
It logs system messages. Leave it enabled.

* saslauthd
Handles plaintext authentication requests on behalf of the cyrus-sasl library. If you don't need something like that set it disabled.

* sendmail
Unless you want to run a Mail Server set it disabled.

* setroubleshoot
This starts the SELinux Troubleshooting Daemon. If you use SELinux leave it enabled.

* smartd
Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART) Daemon. It is recommended this to be enabled but it won't harm you if you disable it.

* smolt
It enables monthly update of Smolt. If you are willing to help Fedora with your system statiscs leave it enabled. Otherwise disable this.

* sshd
SSH Server. It allows users to remotely log into your computer. Unless you need this set it disabled.

* wpa_supplicant
This is a wap supplicant with support for WPA and WPA2 (IEEE 802.11i / RSN). If you have a wireless card leave this enabled. Otherwise disable it.

* ypbind
This is a daemon which runs on NIS/YP clients and binds them to a NIS domain. It must be running for systems based on glibc to work as NIS clients. If you are not using NIS disable it.

* yum-updatesd
This daemon periodically checks for updates. If you want to be notified for new updates leave it enabled. However many times that you try to use yum you may get an error about another pid running because of that service.

Comments (6)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
exRHCT
0
Well NTP would be nice. Then atleast you machine will be on time. And no sshd, man what do you use telnet? And gpm would be nice to. Well when you use putty, than you can past with your right mouce button.
stefan , June 10, 2007
...
0
As far as I have read ntpd should be disabled if you are using a dual boot system with windows. My bad I haven't written that. As far as for sshd I write Disabled (Unless Needed) which means that if you don't know what sshd is you'd better turn it off.
axel , June 14, 2007
...
0
smilies/smiley.gif
srini , July 13, 2007
Mr.
0
What good is smartd?
Wu , March 27, 2009
...
axel
Using smartd you can have view information about your hard disks. With smartd running type for example

su -c 'smartctl -a'

There is also a graphical tool for this job called GSmartControl. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , March 27, 2009
sshd
0
sshd usefull if X's go freeze.
foo , March 14, 2011

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