Debian init.d script won't start service

Simon Hobson dhcp1 at
Sat Jan 15 08:41:49 UTC 2011

Tim Gavin wrote:

>As to why I commented it out, the server is a DHCP server, it's only 
>purpose in life is to hand out DHCP.  I have multiple VLANs on one 
>of the interfaces, and don't want to have to track down that 
>/etc/default script to add new ones when the DHCP server itself has 
>an excellent way of deciding which interfaces to listen on by 
>That file (/etc/default/dhcp3-server) has caused me more problems 
>than any other factor, so I kill it :)  I can never remember to look 
>for it, since it's such a rare occurrence that it needs changing. 
>I'd really like to see that microscript in /etc/default go away, 
>since it appears to serve no other purpose than to do something that 
>is already done elsewhere, and causes things to fail in very 
>unpredictable ways.

On the contrary, I think exactly the opposite. For the vast majority 
of users, it means you can alter the startup config without editing 
the main script. That makes upgrades easier since it's possible to 
replace the main script in /etc/init.d/ (should that be required) 
without stomping over the users config.

Once you edit that init file, future updates will require the 
installer to stop and ask you what to do - and using a new version of 
the file will mean you having to manually merge your previous changes.

Many packages are built like that - amavis comes to mind. All the 
defaults are in a bunch of config files (often in 
/usr/share/<package), and you override only the ones you need to 
change in a smaller config file (usually in /etc/<package>). For 
packages with modest config requirements, /etc/default/<package> 

I agree that if you've come from other distros, Debian seems a bit 
strange and things like this can seem like they are done to make life 
difficult, but they are done that way for a (IMO very good) reason.

Simon Hobson

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