Upstart is an event-based replacement for the /sbin/init daemon which handles starting of tasks and services during boot, stopping them during shutdown and supervising them while the system is running.

It was originally developed for the Ubuntu distribution, but is intended to be suitable for deployment in all Linux distributions as a replacement for the venerable System-V init.

Most major users of Upstart have moved on. Commercial and security support for upstart will stop be from Canonical once the last Ubuntu release shipping upstart lapses.

Project is in maintaince mode only. No new features are being developed and the general advice would be to move over to another minimal init system or systemd.

Feature Highlights

  • Tasks and Services are started and stopped by events
  • Events are generated as tasks and services are started and stopped
  • Events may be received from any other process on the system
  • Services may be respawned if they die unexpectedly
  • Supervision and respawning of daemons which separate from their parent process
  • Communication with the init daemon over D-Bus
  • User services, which users can start and stop themselves

Known Users

  • Ubuntu
    • Introduction: 6.10
    • upstart as system init - last release - 14.04 LTS, public support ending April 2019
    • upstart as user init - last release - 16.04 LTS, public support ending April 2021
  • Fedora introduced in 9. Removed in 15.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Nokia's Maemo platform
  • Palm's WebOS
  • Google's Chromium OS
  • Google's Chrome OS

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Copyright © 2018 Canonical Ltd. Upstart is a trademark of Canonical Ltd.