Restart / Update init Configuration File /etc/inittab After Changes Without Rebooting Server

by on June 25, 2008 · 7 comments· LAST UPDATED June 25, 2008


Q. I've made changes / updates to my /etc/inittab file to configure init process to start with agetty. init reads the /etc/inittab configuration file at the time of system boot. How do I re-read this file without rebooting my Linux server?

A. You need to send HUP single to init process to re-read /etc/inittab on fly using kill command. This is the only way to avoid reboot and make changes to the init configuration take effect immediately.

kill command to send HUP single

Type the command as follows after updating /etc/inittab, enter:
# kill -HUP 1
Please note that init runs as a daemon and typically always has PID 1 on many UNIX / Linux like systems.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gokdeniz Karadag June 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

The more robust way to do this is to use
telinit q


2 santhosh kumar theyyan June 26, 2008 at 12:49 pm

init q should do the same


3 franklin August 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

In redhat os we have already configured with runlevel 5 but automatically goes to single usermode
plz ans anyone


4 kevin August 30, 2011 at 3:05 am

init audio device fails to run , anyone can tell me what i may do to fix this


5 bhaskar August 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

hi i done changes in runlevel 3 to 5 in /etc/inittab file.
after rebooting my pc is not booting


6 Hakim September 9, 2013 at 2:33 am

Hi all…
i’ve got the same problem, after installing RHEL 5 i to dell PE 1750 server for testing, it only boot to CLi and no GUI, i run startx it goes to GUI but after i reboot the server it goes to CLI again, somebody can help me through this problem… I just migrate from wintel team to unix team at my company, still have a lot to learn


7 Tarunika Shrivastava September 22, 2014 at 5:52 am

Its not working.


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