vpsAdminOS supports runlevels as suggested by runit documentation. There are three runlevels built-in: single, rescue and default. single starts only gettys, which is useful for maintenance. Runlevel rescue starts gettys, configures network and starts sshd. rescue does not import ZFS pools and does not start osctld. Runlevel default starts all services that handle network configuration, importing of storage pools and starting containers.

Every runit service belongs to one or more runlevels, you can create your own runlevels by assigning services into it, see options under

The default runlevel can be configured using option runit.defaultRunlevel.

Switching runlevels

At runtime, runlevels can be switched using svctl or runsvchdir. svctl is a utility from vpsAdminOS and runsvchdir comes with runit. The following commands are equivalent:

svctl switch single
runsvchdir single

svctl switch default
runsvchdir default

It may take several seconds for runit to notice the change and start appropriate services.

Booting into a different runlevel

The default runlevel to boot can be changed using kernel arguments. You can change these arguments in the bootloader if you have one, or generate config for netboot. The recognized kernel argument is runlevel=<name>, e.g. runlevel=single. runlevel=single can also be written as 1.

Enabling/disabling services

To make a persistent change, it should be done in your Nix configuration. If you'd like to make temporary changes on a running system, read on.

Generally, a service is enabled by creating a symlink in the runlevel directory, which points to the service. To disable a service, the symlink is simply removed. runit monitors the current runlevel's directory, starts new services and stops removed services. Runlevel directories are in /etc/runit/runsvdir and the enabled services are linked from /etc/runit/services. For example, to enable service sshd in the current runlevel, you'd do:

ln -s /etc/runit/services/sshd /etc/runit/runsvdir/current/sshd

You could either create and remove these symlinks manually, or you can use svctl. svctl is a tool made for easier service and runlevel management. You can forget where the services are stored and where the runlevels are. svctl can list all or enabled services, enable/disable services in selected runlevels and switch the current runlevel.

When called without any arguments, svctl lists all available services and the runlevels they're in:

channel-registration                            default   
chronyd                                         default   
cpufreq                                         default   
crond                                           default   
dhcpd                                           default   
eudev                               rescue      default   
eudev-trigger                       rescue      default   
getty-tty1              single      rescue      default   
getty-tty2              single      rescue      default   
getty-tty3              single      rescue      default   
getty-tty4              single      rescue      default   
getty-ttyS0             single      rescue      default   
getty-ttyS1             single      rescue      default   
haveged                                         default   
histfile-tank                                   default   
networking                          rescue      default   
nfsd                                            default   
nix                                 rescue      default   
opensmtpd                                       default   
osctld                                          default   
pool-tank                                       default   
rpcbind                                         default   
rsyslog                             rescue      default   
sshd                                rescue      default   
statd                                           default   

To enable service sshd in runlevel single, you'd do:

svctl enable sshd single

Review the change by listing services in runlevel single:

svctl list-services single

If you do not provide the runlevel's name, it defaults to the currently active runlevel. So when you've booted in a single user mode, i.e. runlevel single, sshd can be enabled just by:

svctl enable sshd