I'm starting up an SSH server on a fresh OpenSUSE Leap virtual machine, and I found that the documentation tells me to use rcsshd to start the server.

I can't find a man page or really any documentation on rcsshd, nor does the --help option tell me anything. I can see it manages many other services.. is this kind of like systemctl (a service manager) in OS X and it just happens to be named after sshd?

What is the purpose of rcsshd and why can't I just use sshd directly?

  • 1
    Which documentation is telling you this?
    – DopeGhoti
    Nov 8, 2017 at 22:37
  • 1
    I'd be inclined to look at rcsshd, wherever it is, and look to see if it's just a confabulated wrapper for /etc/init.d/sshd or service sshd $verb.
    – DopeGhoti
    Nov 8, 2017 at 22:40
  • @DopeGhoti after taking a look, your hunch seems to be pretty spot on.. seems to just be a shell script wrapper on systemd, systemctl, etc. I'm still not sure why it's called rcsshd in that case though, or why the documentation tells us to use it instead of just plain old sshd, or why it even exists in the first place if we could just use systemctl. Nice insight/intuition. I figured only binaries would be under /usr/sbin. Nov 8, 2017 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


/usr/sbin/rcsshd is a symlink to the service binary that considers the name under which it is called.

One advantage is that you get tab-completion in the shell.

Also rcsshd and service worked the same way before systemd came to be, so if you used these in scripts or docs, they kept working (especially important when you have a mix of old and new OSes).

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