Managing Services

Basic usage

To start, stop, restart or get the status of a service:

# sv up <services>
# sv down <services>
# sv restart <services>
# sv status <services>

The <services> placeholder can be:

  • Service names (service directory names) inside of the /var/service directory.
  • The full path to the services.

As example the following commands show the status of a specific service and of all enabled services:

# sv status dhcpcd
# sv status /var/service/*

See sv(8) for further informations.

Enabling services

Void Linux provides service directories for most daemons in /etc/sv/.

To enable a service on a booted system, create a symlink to the service directory in /var/service:

# ln -s /etc/sv/<service> /var/service/

If the system is not currently running, the service can be linked directly into the default runsvdir:

# ln -s /etc/sv/<service> /etc/runit/runsvdir/default/

This will automatically start the service. Once a service is linked it will always start on boot and restart if it stops, unless administratively downed.

To prevent a service from starting at boot while allowing runit to manage it, create a file named down in its service directory:

# touch /etc/sv/<service>/down

Disabling services

To disable a service, remove the symlink from the running runsvdir:

# rm /var/service/<service>

Or from the default runsvdir if the system or the specific runsvdir is not currently running:

# rm /etc/runit/runsvdir/default/<service>


A runsvdir is a directory in /etc/runit/runsvdir containing enabled services. The currently running runsvdir will be linked to /var/service when the system is booted.

The runit-void package comes with two runsvdir directories; single and default.

  • single just runs sulogin(8) and the necessary steps to rescue your system.
  • default the default runsvdir.

Additional runsvdirs can be created in /etc/runit/runsvdir/.

See runsvdir(8) and runsvchdir(8) for further informations.

Booting a different runsvdir

To boot a different runsvdir, the name of the runsvdir can be added to the kernel commandline. As example adding single to the kernel commandline will boot the single runsvdir.