Clean and simple *nix init scripts with Ruby


Tested and fully working on:

This projects tries to conform to:

Additional facts:


Load the library:

  require 'aef/init'

Simply subclass Aef::Init and define at least a start and a stop method. At the end, call the parse method on that class.

  class DemoSubclass < Aef::Init
    def start
      system('echo start')

    def stop
      system('echo stop')

To be able to call the commands from ruby you should wrap the parse method call in a block that only calls it if the script is executed on the commandline.

  if __FILE__ == $PROGRAM_NAME

There is no need to implement the command restart in most cases, as there is one defined by default, which simply calls the commands stop and start in a row. A delay can between the two commands can be defined:

  class DemoSubclass < Aef::Init
    stop_start_delay 3

If no command is specified on the commandline, restart is called by default. This default can be changed:

  class DemoSubclass < Aef::Init
    default_command :start

If you want to share commands between init scripts, you can also simple put a class between Init and the final implementation:

  class CommonCommands > Aef::Init
    def common
      system('echo common')

  class DemoSubclass > CommonCommands

See the examples folder and spec/bin/simple_init.rb for working example classes.



Additional for automated testing



  gem install init

High security (recommended)

There is a high security installation option available through rubygems. It is highly recommended over the normal installation, although it may be a bit less comfortable. To use the installation method, you will need my public key, which I use for cryptographic signatures on all my gems. You can find the public key and more detailed verification information in the aef-certificates section of my rubyforge project

Add the key to your rubygems’ trusted certificates by the following command:

  gem cert --add aef.pem

Now you can install the gem while automatically verifying it’s signature by the following command:

  gem install init --ignore-dependencies -P HighSecurity

Please notice that you will need other keys for dependent libraries, so you may have to install dependencies manually.

Automated testing

You can test this package through RSpec on your system. First find the path where the gem was installed to:

  gem which init

Go into the root directory of the installed gem and run the following command to start the test runner:

  rake spec

If something goes wrong you should be noticed through failing examples.


This software is developed in the source code management system git hosted at You can download the most recent sourcecode through the following command:

  git clone git://

Help on making this software better is always very appreciated. If you want your changes to be included in the official release, please send me pull request on Alternatevitely you can also send me a patch through the project’s tracker at You can generate a patch-file by the following command:

  git diff > patch.diff

Please write tests for your changes and notice that I can’t promise to include your changes before reviewing them.


Copyright Alexander E. Fischer , 2009-2010

This file is part of Init.

Init is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.





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