Tom Duckering


a web log of my technical stumblings

Return code for init.d scripts status gotcha

I just ran into a problem with the Cassandra init.d script whereby it does not return the right status code when you ask it for Cassandra’s status. It returned a 0 when the service was stopped.

>/sbin/service cassandra stop
>/sbin/service cassandra status
> echo $?

However when you ask an init.d script for the status of a service it should return status codes based on the following rules:

It doesn’t present much of a problem if you’re installing and controlling your services manually. However when you start to use config management tools like Chef or Puppet then programmatic indication of service status is far more important. In this situation we were using Chef and it believes that the service is started when in fact it’s stopped.

Not the first time I’ve seen this issue.

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