I have a daemon that runs fine if I start it manually with the service command:

ricardo@ricardo-laptop:~$ sudo service minidlna start                   
 * Starting minidlna minidlna                                                              [ OK ] 

but it's not configured to auto start when the PC reboots.

How can I configure it to start automatically, even if no one is logged into the PC?

  • @user154721 What arguments did you give update-rc.d to make autostart work? I've tried various options but haven't had any luck. Aug 13, 2013 at 10:41
  • Auto-start programs are configured in autostart manifests or in *.service files in several locations, as well as in init.d or crontab. See: unix.stackexchange.com/a/525845/43233
    – Noam Manos
    Jun 20, 2019 at 6:34

5 Answers 5


On modern Ubuntu systems (15.10 and above):

sudo systemctl enable minidlna.service

On Ubuntu before 15.10:

sudo update-rc.d minidlna defaults

If you get System start/stop links for /etc/init.d/minidlna already exist., then run this instead:

sudo update-rc.d minidlna enable

For details, look at the man page for update-rc.d by typing the command man update-rc.d

  • 7
    thanks, but what if I get this output when running that command?: System start/stop links for /etc/init.d/minidlna already exist. Oct 25, 2010 at 16:02
  • 1
    if minidlna doesnt write to any logfile you won't find it any where. Does it maybe fail because there is no network connection when it is started? Try to look at the configuration if it is possible turn on debugging and/or logging to find out whats wrong. Oct 25, 2010 at 16:20
  • 8
    @RicardoReyes use sudo update-rc.d -f minidlna remove to remove the existing links.
    – Dogweather
    Jun 9, 2014 at 6:04
  • 5
    I am getting below error update-rc.d: /etc/init.d/usermanage: file does not exist Mar 14, 2016 at 8:17
  • 6
    I am also, got the same error update-rc.d: /etc/init.d/mongod: file does not exist. Then, sudo systemctl enable mongod.service worked for me.
    – explorer
    Jan 25, 2019 at 3:42

Since Ubuntu 15.10 and newer (resp. Debian 8 "jessie" and newer), you have to use the following command to configure your service minidlna to run at startup:

sudo systemctl enable minidlna.service

And to disable it again from starting at boot time:

sudo systemctl disable minidlna.service

This works with all service names available on your system. To find out available service names, just list the filenames of the service files:

ls /lib/systemd/system/*.service
ls /etc/systemd/system/*.service
  • 1
    As for sudo, I recieve Unknown operation enable. If I discard sudo it will ask me which user I would like to choose. Pick your root user and you will be able to set the desired value.
    – Cutton Eye
    Mar 18, 2021 at 9:35
  • @tanius I have followe the procedure of adding new services to /etc/systemd/system/*.service. I would like to know why no one suggested creating or editing these files as it seems to provide mode options (Restart, RestartSec, ExecStop, etc...)
    – tiagoams
    Apr 13, 2022 at 9:29
  • @tiagoams Creating a service file was just not the question here, since the OP states that a service minidlna already exists but does not autostart. But thanks for the pointer to service files under /etc, I added that to the answer now.
    – tanius
    Apr 14, 2022 at 16:54
  • To start a daemon at startup:

    update-rc.d service_name defaults
  • To remove:

    update-rc.d -f service_name remove

defaults => default run levels 2,3,4 and 5


update-rc.d tomcat7 defaults
  • 2
    When I do this command, I get "System start/stop links for /etc/init.d/tomcat7 already exist". however, when I reboot, it does not start tomcat, I always have to do "service tomcat7 start". Feb 8, 2016 at 15:51
  • in my case sudo update-rc.d myservice default always completes with no output and the service won't start on boot-up or with sudo service myservice start which also completes silently. sudo /etc/init.d/myservice start works however
    – axk
    Jul 7, 2018 at 21:40

Sometimes you need to run a script on boot process, for example run an iptables config at boot process. So you don’t have to run the script manually every rebooting.

You can run your script on boot process in Ubuntu by adding it to /etc/init.d/rc.local file. Look the steps below.

  1. Open /etc/rc.local file with this command:

    vim /etc/rc.local
  2. Add your script that you want to run on boot process there, for example:

    sh /home/ivan/iptables.sh 
    echo 'Iptable Configured!'
  3. Review the comments included in that file and make sure an exit 0 is at the end.

  4. Save the files. And your script will run on boot process.

  • 2
    Comments of /etc/init.d/rc.local in Ubuntu 12.04 says "Short-Description: Run /etc/rc.local if it exist", so maybe adding the scripts to /etc/rc.local would be better idea? Apr 11, 2013 at 5:29
  • Would this method issue "shutdown" command to the service or just kill the process upon OS shutdown? Jul 25, 2014 at 0:25
  • Vadim, rc.local is just run at boot, nothing is achieved on shutdown. The process would most likely be killed by the OS on shutdown.
    – Weboide
    Dec 4, 2014 at 12:45
  • 1
    FYI: The difference between rc.local vs adding it to init, is that rc.local is executed at the end of the init startup sequence, rather than as part of it Jan 5, 2017 at 21:18

In ubuntu version 18.04 TLS, I found that update-rc.d does not work fine if there is no specific comment block in the start script that looks like this:

# Provides: myprogram
# Required-Start: $ local_fs $ remote_fs $ syslog $ network $ time
# Required-Stop: $ local_fs $ remote_fs $ syslog $ network
# Default-start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: myprogram some description

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