A Survey of Unix Init Schemes

Yvan Royon, Stéphane Frénot
Arxiv ID: 0706.2748Last updated: 8/23/2021
In most modern operating systems, init (as in "initialization") is the program launched by the kernel at boot time. It runs as a daemon and typically has PID 1. Init is responsible for spawning all other processes and scavenging zombies. It is also responsible for reboot and shutdown operations. This document describes existing solutions that implement the init process and/or init scripts in Unix-like systems. These solutions range from the legacy and still-in-use BSD and SystemV schemes, to recent and promising schemes from Ubuntu, Apple, Sun and independent developers. Our goal is to highlight their focus and compare their sets of features.

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