System Services and Runlevels

The init command uses the Linux system initialization table found in /etc/inittab to boot Ubuntu to a specific system state. The state of the system is commonly referred to as its runlevel.

Runlevels determine which of the many available system services are started, as well as in which order they start. A special runlevel is used to stop the system, and a special runlevel is used for system maintenance. As you will see, there are other runlevels for special purposes.

You will use runlevels to manage the system services running on your computer. All these special files and scripts are set up during your installation of Ubuntu Linux, and they receive their initial values based on your choices during the installationas described in Chapter 3, "Installing Ubuntu," and Chapter 4, "Post-Installation Configuration." You can change and control them manually, as you learn later in this chapter using tools of varying sophistication.

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