To ask my question, I must first clarify the context.

Every init script in /etc/init.d (on RedHat and Centos distros) is prepared to be managed with the chkconfig command-line tool utility.

This tool manages the symlinks in /etc/rc[0-6].d, understand runlevels and permit to add and remove init scripts from the set that is meant to run for every runlevel. (see man chkconfig). NOTE: it does not start nor stop the services / daemons but it permit a simpler management of what is "on" and what is "off" in every runlevel.

According to man, to achieve this, every init script in /etc/init.d have to contain exactly two directives on a commended line (chkconfig: and description:, see manpage ) or a LSB-style init stanza. But let put aside for a moment this LSB-tyles stanzas (which have been introduced relatively recently) and are much more descriptive than the original chkconfig "format" (this topic can be good for other questions).

Out of curiosity, I have run on my RedHat boxes (5.2 & 6.1) this command to examine the init scripts:

find /etc/init.d/ -ls -execdir head -n20 {} \;

and I have see other (possibly undocumented) directives:

  • # processname:
  • # pidfile:
  • # config:
  • # Author:

These are in the comment lines and look the same as the official directives (chkconfig: and description:).

Does anyone know if these are chkconfig directives or they are only some nice formatted comments?

If these are directive too what do they mean?

There are some reference? I wasn't able to find any.


The documentation for these directives is in /usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysvinitfiles. Except for "Author", which is non-standard.

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