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Old 12-02-2009, 03:12 AM
Paul Johnson
Default Bad chkconfig problem; how to reset all services to package defaults

Recall the problem that

sudo chkconfig avahi-daemon on

Produced a massive spew of errors on Ubuntu 9.10.

Some of this is clearing up for me. I still don't understand why
chkconfig --list says dbus and hal are not on, because ps aux shows
they are running.

chkconfig output like this:

> insserv: warning: script 'S20udevmonitor' missing LSB tags and overrides

Is mostly harmless. It advises developers to update their scripts to
match the services configuration guidelines known as LSB.

These pieces in the output, however are truly bad:

> insserv: There is a loop between service rsyslog and pulseaudio if stopped
> insserv: exiting without changing boot order!

After much guessing and testing, I believe I've found the heart of the problem:

I had lots of OLD UNPURGED configuration files from removed packages
sitting around. Some services had multiple start files in /etc/rc?.d.

I ran synaptic, and noticed that there were about 150 packages listed
under the removed, but unpurged config remained category. Removing
all of those latent configs got rid of almost all harrassement from

It makes sense if you think about it. Unpurged configs sit around in
/etc/rc1.d, /etc/rc2.d, and so forth.

I've still not found a way to restore all services to defaults, but
after clearing out dead configs, I can confirm that commands like this

# sudo update-rc.d dbus defaults

no longer return so many errors. Sometimes you get that harmless warning:

update-rc.d: warning: /etc/init.d/dbus missing LSB information
update-rc.d: see <http://wiki.debian.org/LSBInitScripts>
System start/stop links for /etc/init.d/dbus already exist.

Sometimes you see evidence that service settings do change, there is a
level by level listing.

Oh, well. Another humbling day being a Redhat guy in a Debian world.

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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