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Why are some deamons run out of service and some out of initctl? Do both tools do the same thing and it is just a matter of personal preference of the user what they will use?

E.g.

sudo service --status-all

vs

sudo initctl list

In my particular instance cron runs out of initctl, and ssh runs out of service. But on Fedora, for example, both of those will be in systemctl.

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6

initctl list will show the process managed using upstart native file. service will show those using a more traditional init script. systemctl will show the one using systemd native format.

Ubuntu is migrating from older scripts to upstart jobs and in your case, cron is managed by upstart and ssh is still a regular initscript. Upstart do provides some feature that init script don't ( like automated restarting if the service die, on demand starting, etc ), so packagers are encouraged to migrate to upstart jobs.

But in the end, yes, they both do the same basic job of starting the services, but differently, so they are not exactly interchangeable.

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    Since this answer ubuntu has had to change to systemd
    – notapatch
    Apr 13 '14 at 10:37

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