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Stop services from starting

Project Description

Some Debian package installs automatically launch a daemon, and sometimes you don’t want that to happen immediately. stopstartup, when activated, will stop any service started via invoke-rc.d from starting. It does this by hijacking /usr/sbin/policy-rc.d, which invoke-rc.d calls for every service. Normally the file should determine if your currently active “policy” (whatever that means) should allow the service to startup. The policy enforcer installed by stopstartup is much less nice, and simply rejects any request.

The policy is installed at usr/sbin/, so if you don’t have proper permissions there you’ll be unable to run stopstartup. If that happens, try using sudo.


stopstartup can be installed in these ways:

# Install right from Github
pip install git+

# Install from a local copy of the repo
# This is super handy if you want to work on stopstartup
git clone
cd stopstartup
pip install --editable .

# RECOMMENDED: Install through pip
pip install stopstartup

Ensuring that this actually works

A full test suite exists in tests. The tests rely on pytest and pytest-pythonpath. Install those first, then just run py.test. The tests should never create, move, or delete any tests on your real filesystem; if you write new tests, please use in_isolation_do to ensure that your tests are run in a temporary part of the FS that will be automatically removed at the completion of the test.


Fork this repo and send me a pull request. It’s all rather informal.

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