Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to start a service via xinetd but it does not work. That means immediately after starting the service it is stopped again:

Sep 23 19:16:39 sektor xinetd[556]: START: service pid=559 from=xx.xx.xx.xx
Sep 23 19:16:39 sektor xinetd[556]: EXIT: service status=1 pid=559 duration=0(sec)

Is there any way to get error messages from the service to track down the problem?

I found something for x11vnc that says to use -o /path/to/separate/logfile, but I would like to know if this works with every (x)inetd-able service or if it even is a flag of xinetd itself.

share|improve this question
-o is an argument to the x11vnc command specifically. – grawity Sep 26 '11 at 7:29
@grawity so it is up to the services to provide logging whilst running under (x)inetd? – Nobody Sep 26 '11 at 9:16
It is always up to the services - most use syslog, some log to files, others nowhere - not dependent on xinetd. – grawity Sep 26 '11 at 9:45
@grawity: Ok maybe logging was the wrong word. When I start for example x11vnc on commandline it gives me a lot of output on stdout. Of course this is not possible under xinetd, because the stdout is reserved for the communication. So a service that runs under xinetd should always provide some possibility to get the output that "normally" would be on stdout? – Nobody Sep 26 '11 at 9:52
In such cases, a properly written service is supposed to use Syslog (or its own log file, if necessary). Also, by the way, most programs use stderr for such messages, and a smarter version of inetd (such as systemd) could redirect stderr to a log while keeping stdin/out with the socket. – grawity Sep 26 '11 at 11:52

Take a look into /var/log/messages or into the service specific logfile (found in /var/log too, if it exist).

Which service do you try to start?

share|improve this answer
It is x11vnc and the lines I posted were the only ones that I found in the log (I redirected xinetd's output to /var/log/xinetd.log to not bloat my messages file). But the messages file also does not say anything. – Nobody Sep 23 '11 at 17:50
Try starting xinetd with the -d option. The man page says: "Enables debug mode. This produces a lot of debugging output, and it makes it possible to use a debugger on xinetd.". This should give you a hint. – ercpe Sep 24 '11 at 4:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.