Notes on administering services (daemons) on Linux.
Many modern distributions and desktop environments have graphical tools to administer services. Those I am familiar with are:
Services are administered with services-admin. Run as user you can view current settings but attempting to make changes silently fails. Run as root from a terminal, the tool works as expected.
Mandriva and derivatives
Services are administered in the Mandriva Control Center (System – Manage System Services). You can view the available services, their current status, enable or disable them, and set or unset them to run on boot.
Services are administered in YaST (System – System Services). You can view the available services, their current status, enable or disable them, and set or unset them to run on boot.
Distro-agnostic and powerful, Webmin is worth familiarizing yourself with. Services are administered in System – Bootup and Shutdown. Besides the usual service administration features, Webmin lets you view and edit each service’s startup script.
COMMAND LINE TOOLS
You can call the service script directly as root: available scripts are at /etc/init.d/. For example, to restart Apache on Ubuntu, sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart.
On many distributions, you can also administer services with the service command. Mageia, Mandriva, openSUSE, and Ubuntu have it, among others. It is called as root and takes the form service script command. Valid values for script differ on each system; again, see the available scripts at /etc/init.d/. service passes command unmodified to the script so valid values differ by script; commonly used commands are start, stop, restart, and status.