GNU Shepherd 0.10.2 Service Manager Fixes Some Long-Standing Issues

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 18 July 2023 at 12:00 AM EDT. 26 Comments
GNU Shepherd is the Guile-written service manager for handling daemons that is most notably used by the GNU Guix project as an alternative to the likes of SysV and systemd. With today's GNU Shepherd 0.10.2 some long-standing issues have finally been resolved.

First up with GNU Shepherd 0.10.2, configuration files are finally loaded asynchronously. Up until now, user-provided configuration files would all be loaded synchronously while moving forward they are finally loaded in the background for allowing greater immediate interactivity with Shepherd.

The other key fix with GNU Shepherd 0.10.2 is that it will no longer error out if encountering errors within user-provided configuration files. Until this version, Shepherd would exit abruptly if hitting any errors when loading configuration files such as file-service startup failures or uncaught exceptions. With GNU Shepherd 0.10.2 and moving forward, Shepherd will keep on running even if encountering a configuration file error.

Shepherd service file example.

This GNU Shepherd update also adds a new parameter to control per-service respawn limits, disabled services are now truly disabled, improved bash completion, and various other fixes.

More details on today's update via the GNU release announcement.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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