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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Friday, August 13, 2021



svcs - report service status


svcs [-aHpv?] [-o 
col[,col...]] [-R 
     [-sS col]... [FMRI
 | pattern]...
svcs -d | -D [
-Hpv?] [-o col[,
col...]] [-sS col]... 
     [FMRI | pattern] ...
svcs -L [-v] [
svcs -l [-v] [
FMRI | pattern]...
svcs -n [FMRI] ...
svcs -x [-v] [
-L] [FMRI]... 


The svcs command displays information about service instances as recorded in the service configuration repository.

The svcs [-aHpv?] form of the command prints one-line status listings for service instances specified by the arguments. Each instance is listed only once. With no arguments, all enabled service instances, even if temporarily disabled, are listed with the columns indicated below.

The svcs -d | -D form of the command prints one-line status listings for the dependencies or dependents of the service instances specified by the arguments.

The svcs -L form of the command prints log contents. For additional information, see Options below.

The svcs -l form of the command prints detailed information about specific services and instances.

The svcs -n form of the command prints notification parameters. For additional information, see Options below.

The svcs -x form of the command explains the states of service instances. For each argument, a block of human-readable text is displayed which explains what state the service is in, and why it is in that state. With no arguments, problematic services are described.

Error messages are printed to the standard error stream.

The output of this command can be used appropriately as input to the svcadm(8) command.


The following options are supported:


Displays an extended usage message, including column specifiers.


Show all services, including those which are disabled or incomplete. Additional information regarding incomplete services is available using svcs –x <service>.

This option has no effect if services are selected.


Lists the services or service instances upon which the given service instances depend.


Lists the service instances that depend on the given services or service instances.


Omits the column headers.


Prints the path to the logfile created by the service restarter of the selected service instances.

With –x, either print the logfile beginning after the last occurrence of log message for a method exit without errors or the last 10 lines of the logfile based on which is smaller at the end of the explanation for that service instance. If a log message for method exit without errors is present in the last line of the logfile, print the last 5 lines of the logfile.

With –v, if only a single service instance match the input, it will print the content of logfile. If multiple service instances match the input, print the last 10 lines of the logfile for each service instance.


(The letter ell.) Displays all available information about the selected services and service instances, with one service attribute displayed for each line. Information for different instances are separated by blank lines.

The following specific attributes require further explanation:


Information about a dependency. The grouping and restart_on properties are displayed first and are separated by a forward slash (/). Next, each entity and its state is listed. See smf(7) for information about states. In addition to the standard states, each service dependency can have the following state descriptions:


No such service is defined on the system.


The fault management resource identifier (FMRI) is invalid (see smf(7)).


The entity is a service with multiple instances.

File dependencies can only have one of the following state descriptions:


No such file on the system.


The file exists.

If the file did not exist the last time that svc.startd evaluated the service's dependencies, it can consider the dependency to be unsatisfied. svcadm refresh forces dependency re-evaluation.


stat(2) failed for a reason other than ENOENT.

See smf(7) for additional details about dependencies, grouping, and restart_on values.


Whether the service is enabled or not, and whether it is enabled or disabled temporarily (until the next system reboot). The former is specified as either true or false, and the latter is designated by the presence of (temporary).

A service might be temporarily disabled because an administrator has run svcadm disable -t, used svcadm milestone, or booted the system to a specific milestone. See svcadm(8) for details.


Prints notification parameters. See smf(7). It always prints the FMA events notification parameters and the system-wide SMF state transition notification parameters, regardless of the FMRI or pattern selected.

–o col[, col]...

Prints the specified columns. Each col should be a column name. See COLUMNS below for available columns.


Lists processes associated with each service instance. A service instance can have no associated processes. The process ID, start time, and command name (PID, STIME, and CMD fields from ps(1)) are displayed for each process.

–R FMRI-instance

Selects service instances that have the given service instance as their restarter.

–s col

Sorts output by column. col should be a column name. See COLUMNS below for available columns. Multiple –s options behave additively.

–S col

Sorts by col in the opposite order as option –s.


Without –x or –l, displays verbose columns: STATE, NSTATE, STIME , CTID, and FMRI.

With –x, displays extra information for each explanation.

With –l, displays user-visible properties in property groups of type application and their description.


Displays explanations for service states.

Without arguments, the –x option explains the states of services which:

  • are enabled, but are not running.

  • are preventing another enabled service from running.

  • are in the degraded state.


The following operands are supported:


A fault management resource identifier (FMRI) that specifies one or more instances (see smf(7)). FMRIs can be abbreviated by specifying the instance name, or the trailing portion of the service name. For example, given the FMRI:


The following are valid abbreviations:


The following are invalid abbreviations:


If the FMRI specifies a service, then the command applies to all instances of that service, except when used with the –D option.

Abbreviated forms of FMRIs are unstable, and should not be used in scripts or other permanent tools.


A pattern that is matched against the FMRIs of service instances according to the globbing rules described by fnmatch(7). If the pattern does not begin with svc: and is not a glob pattern, then svc:/ is prepended. If the pattern is a glob pattern, it is used unmodified for matching.

The following is a typical example of a glob pattern:

qexample% svcs \*keyserv\*
STATE          STIME     FMRI
disabled       Aug_02    svc:/network/rpc/keyserv:default

Note that changing the pattern to remove the leading glob results in different behavior:

qexample% svcs keyserv\*
svcs: Pattern 'svc:/keyserv:*' doesn't match any instances
STATE          STIME    FMRI

An FMRI that specifies an instance.


Column names are case insensitive. The default output format is equivalent to “–o state,stime,fmri”. The default sorting columns are STATE, STIME, FMRI.


The primary contract ID for the service instance. Not all instances have valid primary contract IDs.


A brief description of the service, from its template element. A service might not have a description available, in which case a hyphen ( -) is used to denote an empty value.


The FMRI of the service instance.


The instance name of the service instance.


The abbreviated next state of the service instance, as given in the STA column description. A hyphen denotes that the instance is not transitioning. Same as STA otherwise.


The next state of the service. A hyphen is used to denote that the instance is not transitioning. Same as STATE otherwise.


The scope name of the service instance.


The service name of the service instance.


The abbreviated state of the service instance (see smf(7)):






legacy rc*.d script-initiated instance









Absent or unrecognized states are denoted by a question mark (?) character. An asterisk (*) is appended for instances in transition, unless the NSTA or NSTATE column is also being displayed.

See smf(7) for an explanation of service states.


The state of the service instance. An asterisk is appended for instances in transition, unless the NSTA or NSTATE column is also being displayed.

See smf(7) for an explanation of service states.


If the service instance entered the current state within the last 24 hours, this column indicates the time that it did so. Otherwise, this column indicates the date on which it did so, printed with underscores (_) in place of blanks.


The auxiliary state of the service instance, if applicable. Service instances which have no auxiliary state will display a '-' character in this column.


The last time a periodic service instance has run. Service instances that are not periodic, and have no last execution, will display a '-' character in this column.

See svc.periodicd(8) for an explanation of periodic services.


The next time a periodic service instance is scheduled to run. Service instances that are not periodic, and thus have next scheduled run, will display a '-' character in this column.

See svc.periodicd(8) for an explanation of periodic services.


Example 1 Displaying the Default Output

This example displays default output:

example% svcs
STATE          STIME    FMRI
legacy_run     13:25:04 lrc:/etc/rc3_d/S42myscript
online         13:21:50 svc:/system/svc/restarter:default
online         13:25:03 svc:/milestone/multi-user:default
online         13:25:07 svc:/milestone/multi-user-server:default
Example 2 Listing All Local Instances

This example lists all local instances of the service1 service.

example% svcs -o state,nstate,fmri service1
STATE        NSTATE        FMRI
online       -             svc:/service1:instance1
disabled     -             svc:/service1:instance2
Example 3 Listing Verbose Information

This example lists verbose information.

example% svcs -v network/rpc/rstat:udp
STATE          NSTATE        STIME    CTID   FMRI
online         -             Aug_09        - svc:/network/rpc/rstat:udp
Example 4 Listing Detailed Information

This example lists detailed information about all instances of system/service3 . Additional fields can be displayed, as appropriate to the managing restarter.

example% svcs -l network/rpc/rstat:udp

fmri         svc:/network/rpc/rstat:udp
enabled      true
state        online
next_state   none
restarter    svc:/network/inetd:default
dependency   require_all/error svc:/network/rpc/bind (online)
Example 5 Listing Processes
example% svcs -p sendmail
STATE          STIME    FMRI
online         13:25:13 svc:/network/smtp:sendmail
               13:25:15   100939 sendmail
13:25:15   100940 sendmail  
Example 6 Explaining Service States Using svcs –x

(a) In this example, svcs –x has identified that the print/server service being disabled is the root cause of two services which are enabled but not online. svcs –xv shows that those services are print/rfc1179 and print/ipp-listener. This situation can be rectified by either enabling print/server or disabling rfc1179 and ipp-listener.

example% svcs -x
svc:/application/print/server:default (LP print server)
 State: disabled since Mon Feb 13 17:56:21 2006
Reason: Disabled by an administrator.
   See: http://support.oracle.com/msg/SMF-8000-05
   See: lpsched(8)
Impact: 2 dependent services are not running. (Use -v for list.)

(b) In this example, NFS is not working:

example$ svcs nfs/client
STATE          STIME    FMRI
offline        16:03:23 svc:/network/nfs/client:default

(c) The following example shows that the problem is nfs/status. nfs/client is waiting because it depends on nfs/nlockmgr, which depends on nfs/status:

example$ svcs -xv nfs/client
svc:/network/nfs/client:default (NFS client)
 State: offline since Mon Feb 27 16:03:23 2006
Reason: Service svc:/network/nfs/status:default
        is not running because a method failed repeatedly.
   See: http://support.oracle.com/msg/SMF-8000-GE
  Path: svc:/network/nfs/client:default
   See: man -M /usr/share/man -s 8 mount_nfs
   See: /var/svc/log/network-nfs-client:default.log
Impact: This service is not running.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful command invocation.


Fatal error.


Invalid command line options were specified.


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability
See below.

Screen output is Uncommitted. The invocation is Committed.

See Also

ps(1), svcprop(1), stat(2), libscf(3LIB), attributes(7), fnmatch(7), smf(7), svc.periodicd(8), svc.startd(8), svcadm(8), svccfg(8)