Per-User Services

Sometimes it would be nice to have user-specific runit services. Services that, for example, open an ssh tunnel as your current user, run a virtual machine, or regularly run daemons on your behalf. The most common way to do this to ask a system-level service to start a runsvdir(8) service as your user for your personal service directory.

As example create a service /etc/sv/runsvdir-<username> service with the following run script:


exec chpst -u "<username>:$(id -Gn <username> | tr ' ' ':')" runsvdir /home/<username>/service

In this example chpst(8) is used to start a new runsvdir(8) process as the specified user. chpst(8) does not read groups on its own but expects the user to list all required groups separated by a : (colon). In the previous example the id and tr pipe is used to create a list of all the users groups in a way chpst(8) understands it.

The user can then create new service or symlinks to them in the /home/<username>/service directory. To control the services using sv(8) command the user can specify the services by path or by name if the SVDIR environment variable is set to the users service directory as shown in the following examples:

$ sv status ~/service/*
run: /home/duncan/service/gpg-agent: (pid 901) 33102s
run: /home/duncan/service/ssh-agent: (pid 900) 33102s
$ export SVDIR=~/service
$ sv restart gpg-agent
ok: run: gpg-agent: (pid 19818) 0s