Managing Services and Daemons in FreeBSD

Jul 17, 2023 • FreeBSDSoftware

Dear FreeBSD enthusiasts, it’s crucial for users to understand the functioning of services and daemons and how to manage them effectively. This article will dive deep into these topics while providing practical steps and resources for further knowledge enhancement. To get a comprehensive knowledge of group management in FreeBSD, you can refer to our previous article on group management.

What are Services and Daemons?

In the FreeBSD universe, services represent the various applications that run in the background to support general system operations. These services, which run in the background without any user interface, are often referred to as daemons. Daemons in FreeBSD system usually have names that end in “d.”

Managing services

FreeBSD provides various commands to manage these services effortlessly. The simplest command to manage services in FreeBSD is service. It can be used to start, stop or restart services.

service servicename start

service servicename stop

service servicename restart

To see what services are presently running on your FreeBSD system, use the below command:

service -e

To get more detailed information about a specific service, for instance, the ssh service, you can use:

service sshd status

Working with Daemons

Same as services, you can manage the daemons with a few commands. FreeBSD uses the rc.d system to start and manage daemons. It follows the SysVinit system’s format with scripts stored in /etc/rc.d and `/usr/local/etc/rc.d. Here’s an example:

/etc/rc.d/sshd start

Enabling Services and Daemons

When you install a service or daemon in FreeBSD, it doesn’t necessarily start automatically when you reboot the system. To enable a service or daemon to start at boot, you need to edit the /etc/rc.conf file.

Refer to our FreeBSD System Administration post for a detailed walkthrough on working with the rc.conf file.

Common Challenges with Services and Daemons

Although FreeBSD’s management system for services and daemons is straightforward, users might face some issues. We’ve discussed solutions to these common FreeBSD errors in another post.


Understanding and effectively managing services and daemons in FreeBSD is a key aspect of system administration. The commands and guidelines highlighted in this article should help you achieve this. However, never stop learning. Boost your FreeBSD system’s performance by perusing tips from our post on boost system FreeBSD performance. Lastly, choosing the right FreeBSD server plays a pivotal role in efficient service and daemon management. Explore how to make the right server choice in our post on how to choose your FreeBSD server.

Happy learning, and power to you, FreeBSD users!

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