Start, stop, or restart system services on your DV

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  • Applies to: DV
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: Plesk administrator access, or SSH & root access
  • Applies to: DV 4.0
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: Plesk administrator access, or SSH & root access


You may need to start, stop or restart system services, such as Apache or MySQL, on your DV server. This can be for a variety of reasons.

  • You may have updated a configuration for the service, and you need to restart the service for your changes to take effect.
  • A service may be malfunctioning or "snowballing" and require a restart or a hard stop.
  • A service may have crashed and require a start or restart.

In such situations, restarting only the relevant process is more graceful and less disruptive than rebooting your entire server.

Plesk instructions

  1. Log into the Plesk Control Panel.

  2. Click on the Server tab.

  3. Click on Services Management. You will be taken to the Services Management page. 925_2013_01
  4. Click the button for your desired action.
    • Start - Green arrow
    • Stop - Red square
    • Restart - Yellow sun-circle
    If an option is greyed out, then the unavailable option is the current status of the service. If all options are greyed out, the service is not configured or installed on your server.

SSH instructions

  1. Log into your server as a root or sudo user via SSH.
  2. Execute the desired command using either the full file name or the service command syntax.
    • Service command syntax
      service service name start/stop/reset/status
    • File path syntax
      /etc/init.d/service name start/stop/reset/status
    From the syntax above, please substitute the service name field with the service you are trying to restart, and select only one of the commands. Available options include:
    • start
    • stop
    • restart
    • status

    The below example will restart Apache, or httpd, using the file path to the Apache daemon.

    /etc/init.d/httpd restart

    You should see output like:

    Stopping httpd:                                            [  OK  ]
    Starting httpd:                                            [  OK  ]

    Any errors will also appear in the output. Read them carefully, or perform a search on the text of the error, for information on how to proceed.

    In the below example, we are restarting MySQL using the service command.

    service mysqld restart

That's it!

List of common services

    • Apache: httpd
      • Runs your web server, including serving all HTML and PHP pages.


You can restart Apache gracefully to provide a seamless user experience. Run this command:

/etc/init.d/httpd restart graceful

This will not work if you are trying to kill a runaway process. In that case, restart normally. For more information on graceful restarts, see

    • MySQL: mysqld
      • Runs your MySQL database server. Needed for many common content management systems.
    • Cron: crond
      • Runs scheduled tasks on your server, such as backups and log rotations.
    • Firewall: iptables
      • Your firewall rules.
    • Nameservers: named
      • Runs private nameservers. This service can safely be disabled if you are not running private nameservers.
    • Plesk: psa
      • The Plesk interface.
  • Mail SMTP (outgoing) service: qmail
    • Sends and queues email.
  • Mail SMTP (outgoing) service: postfix
    • Sends and queues email.
  • Mail IMAP and POP3 (incoming) service: courier-imapd and courier-pop3d
    • Receives email and allows your mail client to connect to your queue.
    • SSH: sshd
      • Allows SSH or Terminal access to your server.
    • SpamAssassin: spamassassin
      • Spam filtering and email black/whitelisting service.
    • Logs: syslog
      • Logs system data, including access and error logs.
    • FTP: xinetd
      • Allows file transfers via FTP.
  • Web server proxying: nginx
    • Allows for proxying via nginx for (generally) faster load times.