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Jobs must currently define either a binary to execute or a shell script to run. This specification proposes removing that restriction so that jobs may be used to indicate states in the system.


There are many cases where being able to define complex states to be re-used by other jobs is useful, by far the most elegant method of doing this is to use the existing job syntax. This not only lets us use a process-less job as a state, but even allows us to define script to be run when entering and leaving that state.

Use cases


This specification is largely informational, and limited to adding the concept of a state to the existing concepts of task and service.


A job without either an exec or script stanza will be considered to define a state. It will remain in the running state until it's stopped, and will otherwise behave exactly like a job.

Semantically we will use the goal of the job to define whether the state is true or not. This allows for other jobs to use syntax such as:



The primary change is to init/cfgfile.c, removing the restriction that exec or script must be specified for a job.

The assertion that this is true must be removed from job_change_state in init/job.c, no other modification is required as this will leave the job in the JOB_RUNNING state if neither is specified.

Data preservation and migration

These changes are backwards compatible with the previous behaviour.


JobsAsStates (last edited 2006-11-29 14:11:42 by scott)