init, telinit - process control initialization
init is the default primordial user process. (Options given to the kernel during boot may result in the invocation of an alternative pri-
mordial user process, as described on kernel(1M)). init initiates the core components of the service management facility, svc.configd(1M)
and svc.startd(1M), and restarts these components if they fail. For backwards compatibility, init also starts and restarts general pro-
cesses according to /etc/inittab, as desribed below.
The run levels and system booting descriptions given below are provided for compatibility purposes only, and otherwise made obsolete by the
service management facility, smf(5).
If init exits for any reason other than system shutdown, it will be restarted with process-ID 1.
Run Level Defined
At any given time, the system is in one of eight possible run levels. A run level is a software configuration under which only a selected
group of processes exists. Processes spawned by init for each of these run levels are defined in /etc/inittab. init can be in one of eight
run levels, 0-6 and S or s (S and s are identical). The run level changes when a privileged user runs /sbin/init.
init and System Booting
When the system is booted, init is invoked and the following occurs. First, it reads /etc/default/init to set environment variables. This
is typically where TZ (time zone) and locale-related environments such as LANG or LC_CTYPE get set. (See the FILES section at the end of
this page.) init then looks in /etc/inittab for the initdefault entry (see inittab(4)). If the initdefault entry:
exists init usually uses the run level specified in that entry as the initial run level to enter only if the options/mile-
stone property has not been specified for svc.startd(1M).
does not exist The service management facility, smf(5), examines its configuration specified in svc.startd(1M), and enters the
milestone specified by the options/milestone property.
The initdefault entry in /etc/inittab corresponds to the following run levels:
S or s init goes to the single-user state. In this state, the system console device (/dev/console) is opened for reading
and writing and the command /sbin/su, (see su(1M)), is invoked. Use either init or telinit to change the run level
of the system. Note that if the shell is terminated (using an end-of-file), init only re-initializes to the single-
user state if /etc/inittab does not exist.
0-6 init enters the corresponding run level. Run levels 0, 5, and 6 are reserved states for shutting the system down.
Run levels 2, 3, and 4 are available as multi-user operating states.
If this is the first time since power up that init has entered a run level other than single-user state, init first scans /etc/inittab for
boot and bootwait entries (see inittab(4)). These entries are performed before any other processing of /etc/inittab takes place, providing
that the run level entered matches that of the entry. In this way any special initialization of the operating system, such as mounting file
systems, can take place before users are allowed onto the system. init then scans /etc/inittab and executes all other entries that are to
be processed for that run level.
To spawn each process in /etc/inittab, init reads each entry and for each entry that should be respawned, it forks a child process. After
it has spawned all of the processes specified by /etc/inittab, init waits for one of its descendant processes to die, a powerfail signal,
or a signal from another init or telinit process to change the system's run level. When one of these conditions occurs, init re-examines
New entries can be added to /etc/inittab at any time; however, init still waits for one of the above three conditions to occur before re-
examining /etc/inittab. To get around this, init Q or init q command wakes init to re-examine /etc/inittab immediately.
When init comes up at boot time and whenever the system changes from the single-user state to another run state, init sets the ioctl(2)
states of the console to those modes saved in the file /etc/ioctl.syscon. init writes this file whenever the single-user state is entered.
Run Level Changes
When a run level change request is made, init or a designate sends the warning signal (SIGTERM) to all processes that are undefined in the
target run level. A minimum interval of five seconds is observed before init or its designate forcibly terminates these processes by send-
ing a kill signal (SIGKILL).
When init receives a signal telling it that a process it spawned has died, it records the fact and the reason it died in /var/adm/utmpx and
/var/adm/wtmpx if it exists (see who(1)). A history of the processes spawned is kept in /var/adm/wtmpx.
If init receives a powerfail signal (SIGPWR) it scans /etc/inittab for special entries of the type powerfail and powerwait. These entries
are invoked (if the run levels permit) before any further processing takes place. In this way init can perform various cleanup and record-
ing functions during the powerdown of the operating system.
Environment Variables in /etc/default/init
You can set default values for environment variables, for such items as timezone and character formatting, in /etc/default/init. See the
FILES section, below, for a list of these variables.
telinit, which is linked to /sbin/init, is used to direct the actions of init. It takes a one-character argument and signals init to take
the appropriate action.
init uses pam(3PAM) for session management. The PAM configuration policy, listed through /etc/pam.conf, specifies the session management
module to be used for init. Here is a partial pam.conf file with entries for init using the UNIX session management module.
init session required pam_unix_session.so.1
If there are no entries for the init service, then the entries for the "other" service will be used.
0 Go into firmware.
1 Put the system in system administrator mode. All local file systems are mounted. Only a small set of essential kernel pro-
cesses are left running. This mode is for administrative tasks such as installing optional utility packages. All files are
accessible and no users are logged in on the system.
This request corresponds to a request for smf(5) to restrict the system milestone to svc:/milestone/single-user:default.
2 Put the system in multi-user mode. All multi-user environment terminal processes and daemons are spawned. This state is
commonly referred to as the multi-user state.
This request corresponds to a request for smf(5) to restrict the system milestone to svc:/milestone/multi-user:default.
3 Extend multi-user mode by making local resources available over the network.
This request corresponds to a request for smf(5) to restrict the system milestone to svc:/milestone/multi-user-
4 Is available to be defined as an alternative multi-user environment configuration. It is not necessary for system operation
and is usually not used.
5 Shut the machine down so that it is safe to remove the power. Have the machine remove power, if possible.
6 Stop the operating system and reboot to the state defined by the initdefault entry in /etc/inittab.
a,b,c Process only those /etc/inittab entries having the a, b, or c run level set. These are pseudo-states, which may be defined
to run certain commands, but which do not cause the current run level to change.
Q,q Re-examine /etc/inittab.
S, s Enter single-user mode. This is the only run level that doesn't require the existence of a properly formatted /etc/inittab
file. If this file does not exist, then by default, the only legal run level that init can enter is the single-user mode.
When in single-user mode, the filesystems required for basic system operation will be mounted. When the system comes down
to single-user mode, these file systems will remain mounted (even if provided by a remote file server), and any other local
filesystems will also be left mounted. During the transition down to single-user mode, all processes started by init or
init.d scripts that should only be running in multi-user mode are killed. In addition, any process that has a utmpx entry
will be killed. This last condition insures that all port monitors started by the SAC are killed and all services started
by these port monitors, including ttymon login services, are killed.
/dev/console System console device
/etc/default/init Contains environment variables and their default values. For example, for the timezone variable, TZ, you might
specify TZ=US/Pacific. The variables are:
TZ Either specifies the timezone information (see ctime(3C)) or the name of a timezone information
Refer to the TIMEZONE(4) man page before changing this setting.
CMASK The mask (see umask(1)) that init uses and that every process inherits from the init process. If
not set, init uses the mask it inherits from the kernel. Note that init always attempts to apply a
umask of 022 before creating a file, regardless of the setting of CMASK
LC_CTYPE Character characterization information
LC_MESSAGES Message translation
LC_MONETARY Monetary formatting information
LC_NUMERIC Numeric formatting information
LC_TIME Time formatting information
LC_ALL If set, all other LC_* environmental variables take-on this value.
LANG If LC_ALL is not set, and any particular LC_* is also not set, the value of LANG is used for that
particular environmental variable.
/etc/initpipe A named pipe used for internal communication
/etc/inittab Controls process dispatching by init
/etc/ioctl.syscon ioctl states of the console, as saved by init when single-user state is entered
/var/adm/utmpx User access and administration information
/var/adm/wtmpx History of user access and administration information
/var/run/init.state init state necessary to recover from failure.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWcsu |
login(1), sh(1), stty(1), who(1), kernel(1M), shutdown(1M), su(1M), svc.configd(1M), svc.startd(1M), ttymon(1M), ioctl(2), kill(2),
ctime(3C), pam(3PAM), init.d(4), inittab(4), pam.conf(4), TIMEZONE(4), utmpx(4), attributes(5), pam_authtok_check(5), pam_authtok_get(5),
pam_authtok_store(5), pam_dhkeys(5), pam_passwd_auth(5), pam_unix_account(5), pam_unix_auth(5), pam_unix_session(5), smf(5), termio(7I)
If init finds that it is respawning an entry from /etc/inittab more than ten times in two minutes, assumes that there is an error in the
command string in the entry, and generates an error message on the system console. It will then refuse to respawn this entry until either
five minutes has elapsed or it receives a signal from a user-spawned init or telinit. This prevents init from eating up system resources
when someone makes a typographical error in the inittab file, or a program is removed that is referenced in /etc/inittab.
init and telinit can be run only by a privileged user.
The S or s state must not be used indiscriminately in /etc/inittab. When modifying this file, it is best to avoid adding this state to any
line other than initdefault.
If a default state is not specified in the initdefault entry in /etc/inittab, state 6 is entered. Consequently, the system will loop by
going to firmware and rebooting continuously.
If the utmpx file cannot be created when booting the system, the system will boot to state "s" regardless of the state specified in the
initdefault entry in /etc/inittab. This can occur if the /var file system is not accessible.
When a system transitions down to the S or s state, the /etc/nologin file (see nologin(4)) is created. Upon subsequent transition to run
level 2, this file is removed.
init uses /etc/initpipe, a named pipe, for internal communication.
The pam_unix(5) module is no longer supported. Similar functionality is provided by pam_authtok_check(5), pam_authtok_get(5), pam_auth-
tok_store(5), pam_dhkeys(5), pam_passwd_auth(5), pam_unix_account(5), pam_unix_auth(5), and pam_unix_session(5).
17 Aug 2005 init(1M)