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Slide 4.3 SysVinit Runlevels

On said slide runlevels are introduced according to SysVinit which apparently is still used even if only under the hood.

I use Ubuntu 14.04 up to date.

I tried the suggested command

sudo telinit 5

and nothing happens. It seems that runlevels 2 - 5 do not correspond to the descriptions of the slide (when you click the Info button). My questions are:

1. Where can I find descriptions of Ubuntu's runlevels.

2. If Upstart does not use runlevels so why do they still exist? What is their effect?


  • Hi,

    1. http://upstart.ubuntu.com/cookbook/#runlevels

    4.7 Runlevels

    A runlevel is a single-byte name for a particular system configuration. Runlevels for Debian and Ubuntu systems are generally as follows [34]:

    0 : System halt.
    1 : Single-User mode.
    2 : Graphical multi-user plus networking (DEFAULT)
    3 : Same as "2", but not used.
    4 : Same as "2", but not used.
    5 : Same as "2", but not used.
    6 : System reboot.

    So, that would explain why it's not doing something different when moving to that runlevel :)

    2. Well, Upstart it's more complex than System V, but it uses the same concept of runlevels:


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