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How can I disable autostart for a service without uninstalling? For example, I'd like to leave tomcat installed, but I don't want it turning on every time I restart.

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possible duplicate of How to enable or disable services? –  Eric Carvalho Jun 9 at 11:58

5 Answers 5

up vote 71 down vote accepted

This should do the trick :

Open terminal (CTRL + ALT + t) and type into

sudo update-rc.d tomcat disable

Basically update-rc.d will modify existing runlevel links for the script /etc/init.d/tomcat by renaming start links to stop links.

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Note that the default tomcat service name is "tomcat7" in ubuntu 14. –  eaykin Feb 16 at 12:45

The disable|enable API is not stable and might change in the future. I suggest you use the following command to remove all the symlinks in /etc/rc?.d/:

update-rc.d -f tomcat remove
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This one worked for me. I had uninstalled tomcat manually yet it was trying to shut it down before any reboot. Disable without -f parameter yelded "file does not exists". –  amenadiel Sep 2 '13 at 11:54

More generic and more visual, with a nice UI: sysv-rc-conf

Uncheck the boxes for tomcat7 (runlevels 2 to 5), quit and that's it.

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cool, that's a tool I haven't seen before. It was useful to confirm that the update-rc.d command actually had worked –  STW Mar 19 '14 at 1:14
This tool is great, it was the thing I was searching for. Thank you very much for it. –  Utku Özdemir Apr 24 '14 at 7:07

For upstart jobs, you need to disable service like this (e.g. mysql):

$ sudo -s
# echo "manual" > /etc/init/mysql.override
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+ 1 million, this is what worked for me. I was trying to stop transmission-daemon from starting on startup and the update-rc.d method used to work, but it looks like its been converted to an Upstart script now so this is the only method that works –  Erin Drummond Mar 7 at 6:46

depending on your setup, you can search for 'startup applications' in the dash and control everything that starts at startup from there.

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