3 Ways to Configure Services to Start at Boot in CentOS: Part 1

On Linux dedicated servers, you can configure services or daemons to start at boot. This means that the programs will start running as soon as your server starts and, ideally, continue to do so as long as the server remains operational. We will look at three distinct ways to configure boot-time services: from the command line, from within CentOS’ “setup” program, and from within Webmin’s web-based control panel. All three of these methods should work in CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Fedora.

Command Line

From the command line, you can configure any service to start at boot with the command “chckconfig”. For example, if you want Apache to start at boot, you would type:

# chkconfig httpd on

This will enable Apache on runlevels 2,3,4, and 5.

To make sure that it is now scheduled to start at boot, type this command:

# chkconfig --list httpd

The output should look like this:

httpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

To start a service at boot only on certain run levels, type the command with the “level” option:

# chkconfig --level 345 sshd on

In that example, sshd would be configure to start on run levels 3,4,5.

Once you have your service scheduled to boot, it will still not be turned on in the current session. Therefore, you will still need to start it.

# service httpd start

For more information about chkconfig, see the online documentation. In part 2, we will look at starting and stopping services with graphical interfaces in Setup and in Webmin.