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From: Miquel van Smoorenburg <>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: SystemV init 2.50 available.
Date: 18 Feb 1994 17:34:21 +0200
Approved: (Lars Wirzenius)
Message-ID: <2k2n5t$hjv@plootu.Helsinki.FI>

I have uploaded the latest version of the SystemV init for Linux to
sunsite and tsx-11. The propaganda follows:

	Propaganda for version 1.5 of SysVinit & utilities

SysVinit is probably the most widely used init package for Linux.
Most distributions use it. SysVinit 2.4 is really a good package,
and it was not the need for bugfixes but the need for more features
that made me work on SysVinit again.

Actually, some of the code has been made simpler. Everything, from
halt to reboot to single user mode is now done by shell scripts
that are executed directly by init (from /etc/inittab), so shutdown
does not kill processes anymore and then calls reboot - it merely
does some wall's to the logged in users and then switches to
runlevel 0 (halt), 1 (single user) or 6 (reboot). In the package
the new-style scripts are included as an example. These scripts
ran without modification on all systems I tried it on, but probably
not on your system, according to Murphy. So some tweaking is probably

Because of these changes, it is now possible for the brave SystemV
fans under you to write a complete SysV style boot up environment -
a sample directory with scripts for that case is also included. I
wanted to make that the default, but it seems unnessecary complex
for a simple Linux box. I did test the scripts, but a long time ago.
I have updated them regulary to keep in sync with the rest of the
code, but haven't tested it anymore after that.

Most people have an entry in inittab to run shutdown when CTRL-ALT-DEL
is pressed; a feature has been added to shutdown to check if a
authorized user is logged in on one of the consoles to see if a
shutdown is allowed. This can be configured with an access file.

One interesting new feature in this init package is that it
actually supports a serial line as the "console" - if you enter
single user mode from a serial terminal (by "init S" or
"shutdown now") that terminal will become the logical system console
if it's listed in /etc/securetty. This means that /dev/console
gets linked to the tty line of the terminal. A new device gets
created, /dev/systty that is the physical console - aka /dev/tty0.
Note that this ofcourse does not happen on an "ordinary" reboot.

The problem with this is that most programs that use special
virtual console system calls (like dosemu, and XFree) try to
access /dev/console instead of tty0 and they don't like to find
a serial device there. The solution is to press CTRL-ALT-DEL:
if init sees that CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed and the console is not
the VGA screen, it will not reboot but link /dev/console back to
/dev/systty, so that everything is back to the old state.
(Don't worry, it's all in the manpages).
Now, who adds support for a serial console to the kernel.
Lilo and SysVinit are ready for it.....

Some other general changes:
- utility "runlevel" to read the current and previous runlevel from
  /etc/utmp (it's also shown on the command line if you do a "ps").
- unreckognized options are silently ignored (such as the infamous
  "ro" - mount root file system read only).
- I even updated the manpages!

Right, now some boring stuff you already know since it's the same
as in the 2.4 release:

The SysVinit package includes

* a SysV compatible /etc/init program
* a telinit program (er, just a link to /etc/init) to change runlevels
* a featureful shutdown
* halt and reboot to assist shutdown
* a very forgiving last utility
* the wall & mesg programs
* powerd, an UPS watchdog.
* manpages for everything
* sample scripts to set up an /etc/rc.d directory with scripts per runlevel.

The new SysV init can be found on: as SysVinit-2.50.tgz as SysVinit-2.50.tgz

It will be moved there in a few days, in the mean time it is
probably in the Incoming directory.

** NOTE ** NOTE ** NOTE **
I am leaving for a working holiday in Australia on March 4th, 1994. I
will stay there for at least 5 months, so don't expect any mail to
me to be answered until I'm back (somewhere in August, I suspect).
If there are *really* serious bugs, mail
and he will try to take care of it. If you can't reach him, don't
dispair - just post an '&^%@# init 2.5" message in comp.os.linux.* and
I'm sure he will react to that.. :-)

Mike. (1994-02-14)

| Miquel van Smoorenburg        | "I know one million ways, to always pick |
| |  the wrong fantasy" - the Black Crowes.  |

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