Ubuntu: what is '?' in service --status-all [duplicate]


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by this command service --status-all . I can find all services status. in every line there is + or - or ?. Easy to guess + and - which may be refer to running service and not running (I'm not sure).But do not know this ? symbol meaning before services.


The question mark indicates that service was not able to determine the status of the running service since it did not find the status line in the related script in /etc/init.d

The service command has a snippet as follows:

if ! grep -qs "\Wstatus)" "$SERVICE"; then      #printf " %s %-60s %s\n" "[?]" "$SERVICE:" "unknown" 1>&2      echo " [ ? ]  $SERVICE" 1>&2      continue  

which indicates that it will mark the status of a service as [?] if it does not find a line which has the word status after any non-word character in the related service's file in /etc/init.d.

For example, I have the following cases to consider for this specific example

  • For [+] acpid, if I browse the file /etc/init.d/acpid I get the following line:

    status)  status_of_proc "$ACPID" acpid  

which I presume is what service is looking for.

  • For [?] apport, I don't find a line with the word status preceded by a non-word character which service was looking for. Thus, it prepends a [?] before the service name when you do a sudo service --status-all.

See also: An exactly similar question on Serverfault.

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