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I know that this is probably pretty easy to do, but I'm not a Linux person (I'm trying to learn more). I have a script in a folder:


I need this script to run every time the system starts (even if no one logs in to the system). What do I need to do in order to make this happen?

Thanks for your help!

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possible duplicated: askubuntu.com/q/814/62483 –  Lucio Dec 12 '12 at 15:37

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You will need root privileges for any the following. To get root, open a terminal and run the command

sudo su

and the command prompt will change to '#' indicating that the terminal session has root privileges.

Alternative #1. Add an initscript.

Create a new script in /etc/init.d/myscript.

vi /etc/init.d/myscript

(Obviously it doesn't have to be called "myscript".) In this script, do whatever you want to do. Perhaps just run the script you mentioned.


Make it executable.

chmod ugo+x /etc/init.d/myscript

Configure the init system to run this script at startup.

update-rc.d myscript defaults

Alternative #2. Add commands to /etc/rc.local

vi /etc/rc.local

with content like the following.

# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel
/path/to/my/script.sh || exit 1   # Added by me
exit 0

Alternative #3. Add an Upstart job.

Create /etc/init/myjob.conf

vi /etc/init/myjob.conf

with content like the following

description     "my job"
start on startup
exec /path/to/my/script.sh
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Shouldn't people be using upstart now? –  eduardocereto Dec 12 '12 at 15:14
Thanks. That is EXACTLY what I needed! –  Rusty Dec 12 '12 at 15:22
It is possible to do the same thing by writing a short Upstart job. Initscripts are still supported, however, and are easy to use. –  jdthood Dec 12 '12 at 15:50
Just added the Upstart-job method as a third alternative. –  jdthood Dec 12 '12 at 15:58

You don't need root, or to even login.

You can edit your crontab (crontab -e) and create an entry like this:

@reboot /path/to/script.sh

This way, you can run it as a regular user. @reboot just means it's run when the computer starts up (not necessarily just when it's rebooted).

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In your home, you've a file named .bash_rc. This file is executed at the opening of your session.

Just put something like that at the end of the file :

sh /path/to/your/script.sh

EDIT: sorry, i didn't answer your question because my solution is executed when a user is logged in...

To execute something before the login, you can try rcconf or rc-file: http://www.debianadmin.com/manage-linux-init-or-startup-scripts.html

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.bashrc is called when a new terminal is opened. –  termnml Dec 12 '12 at 14:50
Thanks for the info. The website you mentioned has some good info! –  Rusty Dec 12 '12 at 15:21

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