Section: Environments, Tables, and Troff Macros (7)
Updated: 2013-12-20
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upstart-events - Well-known Upstart events summary  

Event Summary

This manual page summarises well-known events generated by Upstart running both as the init(8) daemon (process ID 1) and a Session Init (process that supervises a user session).

It is not an exhaustive list of all possible events, but rather details a standard set of events expected to be generated on any Ubuntu system running Upstart.

The primary tables, Table 1 and Table 2, encode the well-known system and session events respectively, along with the type of each event (listed in Table 3), the emitter of the event (see Table 4) and the approximate time at which the event could be generated. Additionally, the Note column indexes into Table 5 for further details on a particular event.

See init(8) for a table summarising job goals and possible state transitions.

Note that some events listed in Table 1 may be available to session jobs (depending on when the Session Init starts). Those events that are available will be prefixed with :sys:. See upstart-event-bridge(8) for further details.

The Ref (Reference) column is used to refer to individual events succinctly in the Time column.

Note that the '<' and '>' characters in the Time column denote that the event in the Event column occurs respectively before or after the event specified in the Time column (for example, the mounting(7) event occurs "at some time" after the startup(7) event, and the virtual-filesystems(7) event occurs after the last mounted(7) event relating to a virtual filesystem has been emitted).

For further details on events, consult the manual pages and the system job configuration files, usually located in /etc/init.

Table 1: Well-Known System Events Summary.

all-swapsSM> (5)

control-alt-delete(7)SA> (5)A

containerSC> /run mountedQ

dbus-activationSB> D-Bus client request

deconfiguring-networkingHV< non-local IFs downP

desktop-session-startHD> X(7) session createdB

desktop-shutdownHD> X(7) session endedO

device-not-readyHM> (2)N

drm-device-addedSU> (5)C

failsafe-bootSX> (7) and local IFS

fileSK> (1)U
7filesystemSMAfter last (1)D

graphics-device-addedSU> (5)C

keyboard-request(7)SA> (5)E

local-filesystems(7)SM> (6)

login-session-startHD< DM runningF
1mounted(7)HM> associated (2)G
2mounting(7)HM> (5)H
3net-device-addedSU> (5)C

net-device-changedSU> (5)C

net-device-downSF< (4)C
4net-device-removedSU> (5)C

net-device-upSF,N> (3)C

not-containerSC> /run mountedQ

power-status-changed(7)SI> (5)I

recoverySGBoot (<5)R

remote-filesystems(7)SM> (6)


runlevel(7)MT> (7) + (8)

socket(7)SS> socket connectionX

started(7)SI> job startedK

starting(7)HI< job startsK

static-network-upSN> last static IF up

stopped(7)SI> job stoppedK

stopping(7)HI< job stopsK

unmounted-:remote-:filesystems HV > last remote FS unmounted L
6virtual-:filesystems(7)SM> last virtual FS (1)M

  'DM' is an abbreviation for Display Manager.
  'FS' is an abbreviation for filesystem.
  'IF' is an abbreviation for Network Interface.

Table 2: Well-Known User Events Summary.

dbusSL> (1) W

dconfSO> (1)

desktop-end(7)SJ< (2)

desktop-start(7)HJ> (3)

fileSK> (1)U
2session-end(7)MI< Session Init end
1startup(7)SI> Session Init startJ

:sys:*SE> upstart-event-bridge(8) start

:sys:restartedSE> upstart-event-bridge(8) startV
3xsessionMH> (1)T

Table 3: Event Types.
RefEvent TypeNotes

HHook Blocking. Waits for events that start on or stop on this event.
MMethodBlocking task.

Table 4: Event Emitters.

ASystem Administrator (initiator)Technically emitted by init(8).
Bdbus-daemon(1)Run with "--activation=upstart"
Ccontainer-detect job
DDisplay Managere.g. lightdm/gdm/kdm/xdm.
Fifup(8) or ifdown(8)See /etc/network/.
Gbootloader or initramfs
Hxsession-init session job
Iinit(8)Either PID 1 or a Session Init.
Jjob that starts desktopgnome-session job for Ubuntu.
Kupstart-file-bridge(8)See file-event(7).
Lupstart-dbus-bridge(8)See dbus-event(7).
Nnetwork-interface job
Oupstart-dconf-bridge(8)See dconf-event(7).
R/etc/cron.daily/upstartSee cron(8).
Supstart-socket-bridge(8)See socket-event(7).
Ttelinit(8), shutdown(8)
VSystem V init system
Xfailsafe job

Table 5: Event Summary Notes.

A Requires administrator to press Control-Alt-Delete key combination on the console.
BEvent generated when user performs graphical login.
C These are specific examples. upstart-udev-bridge(8) will emit events which match the pattern, "S-device-A" where 'S' is the udev subsystem and 'A' is the udev action. See udev(7) and for further details. If you have sysfs mounted, you can look in /sys/class/ for possible values for subsystem.
DNote this is in the singular - there is no 'filesystems' event.
E Emitted when administrator presses Alt-UpArrow key combination on the console.
F Denotes Display Manager running (about to be displayed), but no users logged in yet.
GGenerated for each mount that completes successfully.
H Emitted when mount attempt for single entry from fstab(5) for any filesystem type is about to begin.
IEmitted when Upstart receives the SIGPWR signal.
JInitial event (system or Session Init).
K Although the events are emitted by init(8), the instigator may be initctl(8) if a System Administrator has manually started or stopped a job.
MEmitted when all virtual filesystems (such as /proc) mounted.
N Emitted when the --dev-wait-time timeout is exceeded for mountall(8). This defaults to 30 seconds.
O Emitted when the X(7) display manager exits at shutdown or reboot, to hand off to the shutdown splash manager.
P Emitted by /etc/init.d/networking just prior to stopping all non-local network interfaces.
Q Either 'container' or 'not-container' is emitted (depending on the environment), but not both.
R Emitted by either the initramfs or bootloader (for example grub) as the initial event (rather than startup(7)) to denote the system has booted into recovery mode. If recovery was successful, the standard startup(7) event is then emitted, allowing the system to boot as normal.
S Emitted to indicate the system has failed to boot within the expected time. This event will trigger other jobs to forcibly attempt to bring the system into a usable state.
TOnly emitted for a graphical session.
USee file-event(7).
V This is a pseudo-system event emitted directly by the upstart-event-bridge(8).
W Emitted by Session Init only since bridge not run as system job by default.
XSee socket-event(7).
Y Used primary by Session Job /usr/share/upstart/sessions/logrotate.conf.



Manual page written by James Hunt <>  


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Copyright © 2011-2013 Canonical Ltd.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  


all-swaps(7), control-alt-delete(7), dbus-daemon(1), dbus-event(7), dconf-event(7), file-event(7), filesystem(7), ifdown(8) ifup(8) init(5), init(8), initctl(8), keyboard-request(7), local-filesystems(7), mountall(8), mounted(7), mounting(7), power-status-changed(7), remote-filesystems(7), runlevel(7), shutdown(8), socket-event(7), started(7), starting(7), startup(7), stopped(7), stopping(7), telinit(8), upstart-dbus-bridge(8), upstart-dconf-bridge(8), upstart-event-bridge(8), upstart-file-bridge(8), upstart-local-bridge(8), upstart-socket-bridge(8), upstart-udev-bridge(8), virtual-filesystems(7).



Event Summary

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Time: 08:19:14 GMT, January 21, 2018