Open Source

Linux 101: A comprehensive list of available Linux services

This document lists the majority of services available for any distribution of Linux. The list includes a description of each service's purpose, and a comment regarding whether it is a required service.

This document lists the majority of services available for any distribution of Linux. The list includes a description of each service's purpose, and a comment regarding whether it is a required service. This listing is not specifically directed at desktop or a server installation; it includes the services for both types.

I will also list as required only those services that the system must have functioning to run, not services which act as enhancements. This listing is from the Mandriva Free 2006 Distribution and there are two distribution specific items in the list, which I have specified within Table A.

I generated this list by installing absolutely everything from the three CD-ROMs, not something you will need to do. If you use this list as a guideline and see services listed here that are not in your list, this is a good thing. You should actually never see this long a list on any installation you intend to use.

Table A


Alphabetical Listing of Services

Service Name

Required [Yes/No]

Description

Comments

acon

No

Language support

Specifically for the right to left written languages: Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew

acpi

No

Power Management

laptop battery fan monitor

acpid

No

Listening daemon

This listens for and dispatches acpi events from the kernel

adsl

No

Internal ADSL switch control

Use this only if you have an internal adsl switch for your internet connection.

alsa

No

Advanced Linux Sound Architecture

The only sound system actually included in the kernel

anacron

No

Periodic Command Scheduler

a task scheduling tool

apmd

No

Power Management

Laptop power management

apmiser

No

Power Management

Yet another laptop battery extender

arpwatch

No

Ethernet ip address pairing monitor

monitors and logs remote ip addresses with hostnames.

atd

No

Periodic Command Scheduler

a task scheduling tool

autofs

No

Automount services

one of the several automounting of file systems on demand services. Some of which are distro specific, if the distro you are using has its own automount system, do not use this one.

bluetooth

No

The core of Bluetooth

For all Bluetooth services.

bootparamd

No

boot server

old means for booting diskless clients / thin clients, the newer method is the zeroconf system.

canna

No

Japanese conversion engine

capi4linux

No

Basic CAPI subsystem

cpqarrayd

No

Hardware Service

Compaq Raid Array Monitor

cpufreq

No

Hardware Service

Probes and configured CPU frequency daemon modules

cpufreqd

No

Hardware Service

This one will automatically scale cpu frequency to reduce overheating. Should be useful for over-clocking.

crond

Yes

Periodic Command Scheduler

THE task scheduling tool.

cups-lpd

No

Enables older Linux and commercial Unix systems to connect to cups server

Useful only if you have to allow older systems access to the printers

cups

Yes

Common Unix Printing System

A must have to enable printing

cvs

No

Concurrent Versioning system

For managing multi user documents.

devfsd

No

System Maintenance

This service only cleans up dynamic desktop directories; it is not needed unless your system crashes often.

dhcpd

No

The DHCP server

Is your network large enough that static IPs are a pain, then this will make it easier, giving you DHCP IP configuration for your network.

diald

No

Smart auto dialer for dialup networking

This service will connect to the network on demand, as in you type an email and hit send, it will connect you, send the email and disconnect you.

dkms

No

Autoinstall Boot for DKMS

Distro specific tool, for OEM style installations. This allows for a first boot setting of root password and user name password for regular use. the final configuration of the system.

dm

Yes

Display Manager

The core of the x-server, required for using any GUI.

dnbc

No

Digital Network Bind Chrooter

This is a simple bash script that puts a BIND server in a chroot jail. Install BIND, launch the script, and restart named

drakxtools_http

No

Miniserve administration server

Distro specific tool for remote system administration

dund

No

Bluetooth Dialup networking

fam

No

File system Alteration Monitor

Logger for all changes to a file system.

finger

No

Remote access of data.

This server will allow remote access of user login data, last login date and time. useful for monitoring employee work habits when you are not in the office, major breach of security, in that you are effectively publishing confidential company data online

freshclam

Yes

ClamAV updater

Automatic updates for ClamAV

gpm

Yes

Mouse

Console mode mouse driver

haldaemon

No

Hardware Monitoring System

This monitors for hardware changes, will alter you to new or altered hardware.

harddrake

No

Hardware Service

Distro specific hardware detection and configuration

heartbeat

No

High Availability services

This is intended to increase the priority of critical servers and services

hidd

No

Bluetooth H.I.D. Server

hplip

No

HP Linux Printing and Imaging

Older version of HP supplied drivers for their all in one products

hpoj

No

Pital?init, HP office jet printer drivers

Older drivers for HP office jet, newer drivers are included with cups drivers for the printers

httpd

No

Apache Web server

There are two reasons for this to be on a system, one is it is to be used as a Web server, the other it will be a Web site development machine. If neither is true, do not install Apache and this won't be here.

hylafax?server

No

Enterprise Fax?modem service

This works for class 1 and class 2 fax modems only. This must be running if you intend to use hylafax to send a fax through the modem. This is not the only fax tool available.

ibod

No

ISDN MPPP bandwidth on demand

Useful with dialup networking, this will connect as needed to the network.

identd

No

Identification through TCP connection

imaps

No

secure IMAP server

imaps

No

IMAP server

iplog

No

Logs TCP, UDP, ICMP connections with hostname of remote host

Useful network monitoring tool.

ipop2

No

POP2 mail server

ipop3

No

POP3 mail server

ipsec

No

Encrypted and Authenticated communications

KLIPS is the kernel half, PLUTO is the user space half. very useful for remote access situations

iptables

Yes

kernel based Packet Filtering firewall

All good Linux firewalls are based on this service.

ipvsadmin

No

Linux Kernel IP virtual server

This is one of the oldest networking systems in Linux, not used very much any more.

irda

No

Infra Red Device Interface

Older wireless device support

keytable

Yes

keyboard map

This tells the system exactly which keyboard you are using.

kheader

No

Boot Services

This automatically regenerates the kernel header in /boot

lads

No

Login Anomaly Detection System

A tool to track login attempts and warn of attempted intrusion.

laptop?mode

No

Power Management

A tool to reduce power consumption, extending the life of the laptop battery

leafnode

No

NNTP service for X?INETD

lisa

No

LAN information server

lmsensors

No

Hardware health monitor

This requires that the mainboard of the system supports and has monitoring systems in place, such as the CPU temperature and voltage monitors.

mailman

No

GNU Mailing List Manager

A commonly used mailing list tool, with a Web interface for administration, written in Python. It allows list members to communicate by sending an email to one address, and replying to the same address. Can also be used to send out newsletters / product updates to those that requested such

mandi

No

Interactive Firewall

Special service to allow for temporary wireless access to the system, will open the iptables firewall for current session only access for wireless devices, on user approval only, not automatically.

mdadm

No

Monitoring Service for software raid

This also is a management tools for said software raid volumes.

mdnsresponder

No

Zeroconf DNS configuration tool

messagebus

Yes

Event monitoring service

This one sends broadcast messages to all users when needed, like the server is going down for reboot.

mon

Yes

System Monitoring daemon

A lot of system services require this in order to function

mysqld

No

MySQL server

If you don't need this database, why turn it on?

named

No

BIND server

yes, the infamous name server.

netplugd

No

Network Card daemon

This service monitors the network interface, turning it off or on depending on signal, used mainly for laptops that may not always be connected.

network

Yes

Networking

This turns the network card on, or powers the modem.

nfs

No

Network File Share

This enables the clients to access NFS shares, it is required for the client machines in an NFS system.

nfsfs

No

The Network File Share Server

This should only be active on the network server

nfslock

No

NFS file locking

This should only be active if you are using NFS networking / file share functionality.

nifd

No

Howl Client

This provides ipv4 link?local services for zeroconf networks / systems

nscd

No

Password and group lookup service

This works for slow protocols like N.I.S/Y.P. nist, ldap and hesiod. It is designed to have a longer timeout specifically for these protocols

ntpd

No

Version 4 of the NTP server

numlock

No

number lock light control

This will keep the Numlock activated, turning the keyboard number pad on.

oki4daemon

No

compatibility daemon for OKI4 and compatible winprinters

only useful if you have one of these printers

pand

No

Bluetooth Personal Area Networking

For home area Bluetooth based networking.

partmon

Yes

Partition Monitoring

This service keeps track on free space on mounted partitions. used by most file system browsers for calculating free space on a given partition.

pcmcia

No

Personal Computer Memory Card International Association

pg_autovacum

No

PostgreSQL maintenance

This will automatically run the vacuum needed by PostgreSQL to reduce disk space, pulling temp tables from the db as well as deleting temp files created by PostgreSQL.

pop3s

No

Secure POP3 server

SSL enabled POP3 server

portmap

No

RPC support

Support for those rare apps that use rpc.

Postgresql

No

The Postgresql Database Engine

You only need this if you are either running a postgresql db drives application or are developing one.

postfix

No

email server

asendmail compatible email server, newer than sendmail itself, becoming more commonly used than sendmail.

pptp

No

Shutdown service for ppp

A clean shutdown service for PPP tunnels, used when on ups to avoid lock file problems when power returns to the system.

prelude

No

IDS

Intrusion Detection system

psacct

No

Process Accounting

A Tracker of active processes, a waste of resources really

rawdevices

Yes

Assigns rawdevices to blocks for use

This is needed for DVDS, and oracle DBMS among other things

rsync

No

Remote Synchronization

A server to enable remote synchronization of files in a specified directory tree. Commonly used for maintaining mirror sites, can also be used to keep company files current for backup purposes.

saned

No

Network Scanner Service

To provide access to your scanner from any workstation in the network.

shorwall

Yes

Firewall

A very good IPTables based firewall.

smartd

No

Self Monitor Service

For OS access to smart enabled devices, this will allow Linux to tell you if the device is starting to go bad, but relies on the device smart feature for accuracy.

smb

No

Samba Network Services

This provides the samba services to enable Windows network compatibility.

snmpd

No

Simple Network management Protocol

For use in a small [ home office ] network

sound

No

Sound System

This is the core of the Linux sound system, nice for desktops, a waste of resources on a server

squid

No

Caching Tool

Used to cache Web pages and DNS entries

ssh?xinetd

No

OpenSSH server for x?inetd

a run on demand version of OpenSSH

sshd

No

OpenSSH server

Only turn this on if you require SSH access to your system, and are not going to use the x?inetd version.

subversion

No

Concurrent Versioning system

New alternative to CVS

swat

No

Samba Web Administration Tool

Web based Samba administration

syslog

Yes

System Logging

A Required service, it controls all logging on the entire system.

tmdns

No

Multicast dns responder

For use in zeroconf environments

ultrabayed

No

ThinkPad tool

This detects the presence of the ultrabay for your IBM ThinkPad and starts / stops the IDE interface as appropriate.

upsd

No

NUT daemon and drivers

An uninterrupted power supply monitoring and reporting tool. This tool reports to a central site to generate a database on ups statistics.

upsmon

No

Monitoring tool for UPS

This will monitor the status of the ups, and shut the system down when it's running low.

vncserver

No

Server for Virtual network computing

Very useful for using VNC in projects.

Webmin

No

Remote Administration tool

Distro Agnostic Remote administration tool. Useful for when the machine will not be physically accessible at all times; such as Web server farm.

winbind

No

Samba Name Server

Required for samba networking to function. This maps user and group data from the windows network to the Linux workstation

wine

No

Wine Is Not an Emulator

This enables running MS Windows executables in Linux. WINE is a limited version of the commercial product Crossover Office.

wlan

No

Control Daemon

This Controls services, it is not commonly used as the services are generally controlled through the init process.

x?inetd

Yes

Server for monitoring and controlling other servers

This is required service, and it actually reduces CPU load on a server. if you need SSH, ftp, etc but not all the time, the x?inetd version will start them on request, even remote request. This allows for them to be available, but frees the clock?cycles if they are only being used a few times a day / week.

xfs

Yes

X Font Server

If you are going to be running a GUI at any point in time, this will be required.

ypbind

No

Name Server for Sun's YP server

This is for GLIBC based NIS / YP networked systems.

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