Watching how upstart works

Ubuntu has been using upstart for a while. The idea of upstart is to replace the old SYSV init process and the related scripts in /etc/init.d/.  Basic info can be found at

However, if you have a running system (like for myself Kubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS) and look into /var/log/syslog you will not see what upstart has done or is doing.

Luckily your curiousity can be satisfied easily:

  1. During boot press and hold down the Shift key to get to the grub2 menu (if necessary). (If you have a system that has been upgraded from earlier versions it might still use grub. I believe the key used to be ESC.)
  2. Select your normal entry (typically the first one) and press “e” for edit
  3. Append the following text at the end of the exisiting linux command line (leave 1 space): init=/sbin/init --verbose
  4. Press Ctrl-X to boot
  5. Examine /var/log/syslog. Search for init: to find lines written by upstart.

Next time you boot the logging will be off again. Easy, isn’t it?


About usrmisc

I'm a software guy and intend to write down my own miscellaneous learnings here instead of on some papers, which I don't find again. Let's see how that goes. I work mainly with Linux.
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One Response to Watching how upstart works

  1. usrmisc says:

    In release notes of Ubuntu Raring I see that they hav a new upstart-monitor(8) tool. I sounds it might serve a similar purpose as my instructions above. Haven’t tried it yet.

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