Ubuntu inittab – Where to find the inittab in Ubuntu

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In most variants of GNU/Linux the init daemon and its configuration file /etc/inittab are used to define things like runlevels and consoles. In an effort to improve boot time, system performance and ease scripted configuration, ubuntu has implemented upstart, an event-based replacement for the traditional init daemon. This is good for the most part, but in different versions ubuntu upstart is configured in different locations which can be quite confusing.

Aside from the change in location, the items that traditionally would be represented by a line in /etc/inittab have been split up into individual files. Despite this difference, the syntax used within the individual files is very familiar.

Where did the ubuntu inittab go?

Here’s where “inittab” lives on different versions of ubuntu.

Ubunutu inittab equivalent for Karmic (9.10) and newer:

Init functionality has been broken out into individual files located in /etc/init.

# ls /etc/init
autofs.conf                  mountall-shell.conf               rsyslog.conf
avahi-daemon.conf            mounted-debugfs.conf              screen-cleanup.conf
console.conf                 mounted-dev.conf                  setvtrgb.conf
console-setup.conf           mounted-proc.conf                 shutdown.conf
container-detect.conf        mounted-run.conf                  ssh.conf
control-alt-delete.conf      mounted-tmp.conf                  statd.conf
cron.conf                    mounted-var.conf                  statd-mounting.conf
cryptdisks-enable.conf       networking.conf                   tty1.conf
cryptdisks-udev.conf         network-interface.conf            tty2.conf
dbus.conf                    network-interface-container.conf  tty3.conf
dmesg.conf                   network-interface-security.conf   tty4.conf
ecryptfs-utils-restore.conf  plexmediaserver.conf              tty5.conf
ecryptfs-utils-save.conf     plymouth.conf                     tty6.conf
failsafe.conf                plymouth-log.conf                 udev.conf
flush-early-job-log.conf     plymouth-splash.conf              udev-fallback-graphics.conf
gssd.conf                    plymouth-stop.conf                udev-finish.conf
hostname.conf                plymouth-upstart-bridge.conf      udevmonitor.conf
hvc0.conf                    portmap-boot.conf                 udevtrigger.conf
hwclock.conf                 portmap.conf                      upstart-socket-bridge.conf
hwclock-save.conf            portmap-wait.conf                 upstart-udev-bridge.conf
idmapd.conf                  procps.conf                       ureadahead.conf
module-init-tools.conf       rc.conf                           ureadahead-other.conf
mountall.conf                rcS.conf                          wait-for-state.conf
mountall-net.conf            rc-sysinit.conf                   mountall-reboot.conf

Ubuntu inittab equivalent for Jaunty (9.04), Feisty (7.04) & Edgy (6.10)

Init functionality is broken out into individual files located in the /etc/event.d/ directory.


Ubunutu inittab for Dapper (6.06) and Earlier

These versions use a standard /etc/init file.


One Response to “Ubuntu inittab – Where to find the inittab in Ubuntu”

  1. Deepti Says:

    I am using Ubuntu 14.04. I need to connect 2 m/cs using a null modem. The documentation that I have come across involves modifying inittab. What are my alternatives?


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