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.

  • -o is an argument to the x11vnc command specifically. Sep 26, 2011 at 7:29
  • @grawity so it is up to the services to provide logging whilst running under (x)inetd? Sep 26, 2011 at 9:16
  • It is always up to the services - most use syslog, some log to files, others nowhere - not dependent on xinetd. Sep 26, 2011 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? Sep 26, 2011 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. Sep 26, 2011 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


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?

  • 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. Sep 23, 2011 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, 2011 at 4:52

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