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Is there an automated deployment tool that manages startup applications on a variety of machines, especially the Unices? Or is the only hope to study the nuts and bolts of each Unix (osx, linux, solaris, hpux, aix) on how to configure applications to launch on system startup?

I want to run them as a specific user, instead of root. At the moment, I run them all within a screen session .. which is a hassle, as this requires manual intervention every time the machine is rebooted for some reason.

Ideally, I am looking for a tool that would read, say, ~/.startup-programs which file contains, on each line, the command line to launch the needed daemons. And this tool should work on OSX, Linux, Solaris, HPUX and AIX ... writing the appropriate startup scripts for each platform.

I should also be able to relaunch the programs, if they die for some reason.

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I think that's what you call a Systems Administrator ;) –  bryan May 12 '10 at 17:40

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Sorry no - each one of those *nixes have different start up methods - each one uses some king of variation of run levels etc; at best you can could write a program for each os that would do what you want but something like that is not universal and specific to each flavor of unix/linux your are using.

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and now ubuntu 10.04 has uses upstart. –  bryan May 12 '10 at 20:11

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