Tag Archives: runlevel

sysv-rc-conf: Going, going, gone

Back in March rcconf came up, and with it the question of whether that, or for that matter this, will really be of much use in the future.


That’s sysv-rc-conf, from the XFCE version of Linux Mint. As it is — or maybe, as it was — you can navigate with the arrow keys, and enable or disable a service with the space bar. Very straightforward.

Long time ago sysv-rc-conf was a fairly effective way to cut back on the dreck that was installed by default in Ubuntu and its cousins. Reduce the unnecessary startup programs, reduce the startup time. Scoff if you like, but in 2006 and at 300Mhz, there was a big difference.

Of course now, a 300Mhz machine is a rarity, and even if you had one, installing Ubuntu on it would be a crime against technology. sysv-rc-conf or no, unless you’re running pure Debian, I don’t think it will make a lick of difference.

And of course, the impending shift to systemd makes things even murkier. I don’t know if there will be an analogue to sysv-rc-conf under systemd, but my gut says no.

So enjoy it while it lasts. Drag that old Pentium II out of the closet, put the Debian LXDE desktop on it, fire up sysv-rc-conf one last time and see how much closer you can get to a single-digit startup time.

It’s the way of the world, friends: Modern becomes obsolete, obsolete comes classic, classic becomes vintage, and vintage becomes artifact. Boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

rcconf: Enjoying the nostalgia

I’m going to mention rcconf today, even though I have my doubts about its viability in the future, given the decision to switch to systemd. Here it is on Mint, just the same.


rcconf reminds me of the good old days when I was hell-bent on eking every gram of speed out of the Golden Age of Ubuntu. (Yes, I refer to pre-2010 Ubuntu releases as its “Golden Age.” Get used to it. 👿 )

In short, this is a text-only interface to manage runlevels on a Debian-based machine. As you can see above, there are quite a few at work on a default installation.

In theory, disabling a few of these should result in a perkier system. The underlying theory being, the less extraneous services, the less time the processor spends skipping over the clutter of unused processes. Add them all up and they might make a difference to you.

All that is strictly theory from my perspective though. And given that machines these days barely lose any time to teeny unused processes, it might not make a difference at all.

On the other hand, if you’re working with the hardware of the last decade, you’ll probably want to give this a chance.

For what it’s worth, it’s important to make a distinction between Debian’s rcconf and sysv-rc-conf. One manages runlevels and one the SysV startup; I’ll gloss over sysv-rc-conf in the S section.

About two years from now, probably. 😯 🙄

P.S.: If you’re an Arch user and you’re wondering why you can’t find this in the repos, it’s because this is for Debian only. Don’t feel bad. You’ve got some fun stuff to play with too. …