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vsv - Void Service Manager

Manage and view runit services.

vsv was inspired by vpm. vsv is to sv as vpm is to the xbps-* commands.

See my blog post on vsv here:



On Void Linux run:

xbps-install vsv

Alternative Installation

vsv is a standalone bash script that can be dumped anywhere in your $PATH to be used.


I personally install it with git (with ~/bin in my $PATH):

mkdir -p ~/bin ~/dev
cd ~/dev
git clone git://
ln -s ~/dev/vsv/vsv ~/bin

curl or wget

You can use curl or wget to pull the script directly from GitHub:

mkdir -p ~/bin
cd ~/bin
# or
curl -O
# and then
chmod +x ~/bin/vsv


You can use the Makefile in this repo:

$ sudo make install
cp vsv /usr/local/bin
cp man/vsv.8 /usr/local/share/man/man8/vsv.8

And uninstall with:

$ sudo make uninstall
rm -f /usr/local/bin/vsv
rm -f /usr/local/share/man/man8/vsv.8


Note: Some screenshots are outdated or command output may have changed slightly in newer versions of vsv.

Run vsv without any arguments to get process status. This is equivalent to running vsv status:


Note: sudo or escalated privileges are required to determine service state because of the strict permissions on each service's supervise directory.

vsv scans the /var/service directory by default, which can be overridden by setting the $SVDIR environmental variable or passing in a -d <dir> argument. Any service that has been in a state for less than 5 seconds will be marked in red, making new or failing services easy to spot:


Services in a state for more than 5 seconds but less than 30 seconds will be highlighted in yellow:


A string can be passed as the first argument after status to filter for services that contain that string in their name. Also, -t can be supplied to status to print the process tree of the pid for that process:


Any command other than status will be passed directly to the sv command. Restarting a service is as easy as vsv restart <svc>:


To stop a service, vsv down <svc> or vsv stop <svc> can be used:


A full service tree can be generated with vsv -t. This command is equivalent to running vsv status -t:


-l can be specified to view log services for each service as well. This command is equivalent to running vsv status -l virt:


-t can be specified with -l to view log services as a tree for each service as well as normal services. This command is equivalent to running vsv status -tl virt:


vsv also first-classes the notion of "user services". I wrote about this in my blog post for Using Linux As My Daily Driver Basically, I have a separate instance of runsvdir running as my user out of ~/runit/service, and the vsv script is set up to look in that location when invoked with -u.


Note that -u is just a shortcut for -d ~/runit/service - technically, any directory can be specified with that option:


All of the commands and options are supported when -u or -d <dir> is specified.



Quick Examples:

  • vsv - show all services
  • vsv status - same as above
  • vsv stop <svc> - stop a service
  • vsv start <svc> - start a service
  • vsv restart <svc> - restart a service
  • vsv enable <svc> - enable a service (autostart at boot)
  • vsv disable <svc> - disable a service (no autostart at boot)
  • vsv hup <svc> - refresh a service (SIGHUP)


The status subcommand has the following fields:

  • SERVICE - the service (directory) name.
  • STATE - the service state: output from .../$service/supervise/stat.
  • ENABLED - if the service is enabled (lacks the .../$service/down file).
  • PID - the pid of the process being monitored.
  • COMMAND - arg0 from the pid being monitored (first field of /proc/$pid/cmdline.
  • TIME - time the service has been in whatever state it is in.

Command Usage:

$ vsv -h
 __   _______   __
 \ \ / / __\ \ / /   Void Service Manager (v1.3.0)
  \ V /\__ \\ V /    Source:
   \_/ |___/ \_/     MIT License

[vsv]    Manage and view runit services
[vsv]    Made specifically for Void Linux but should work anywhere
[vsv]    Author: Dave Eddy <> (bahamas10)

vsv [-u] [-d <dir>] [-h] [-t] [SUBCOMMAND] [...]

-c <yes|no|auto>          Enable/disable color output, defaults to auto
-d <dir>                  Directory to look into, defaults to env SVDIR or /var/service if unset
-h                        Print this message and exit
-l                        Show log processes, this is a shortcut for 'status -l'
-t                        Tree view, this is a shortcut for 'status -t'
-u                        User mode, this is a shortcut for '-d ~/runit/service'
-v                        Increase verbosity
-V                        Print the version number and exit

SVDIR                     The directory to use, passed to the 'sv' command, can
                          be overridden with '-d <dir>'

status [-lt] [filter]     Default subcommand, show process status
                          '-t' enables tree mode (process tree)
                          '-l' enables log mode (show log processes)
                          'filter' is an optional string to match service names against

enable <svc> [...]        Enable the service(s) (remove the "down" file, does not start service)

disable <svc> [...]       Disable the service(s) (create the "down" file, does not stop service)

Any other subcommand gets passed directly to the 'sv' command, see sv(1) for the
full list of subcommands and information about what each does specifically.
Common subcommands:

start <service>           Start the service
stop <service>            Stop the service
restart <service>         Restart the service
reload <service>          Reload the service (send SIGHUP)

vsv                       Show service status in /var/service
vsv status                Same as above
vsv -t                    Show service status + pstree output
vsv status -t             Same as above
vsv status tty            Show service status for any service that matches tty*
vsv check uuidd           Check the uuidd svc, wrapper for 'sv check uuidd'
vsv restart sshd          Restart sshd, wrapper for 'sv restart sshd'
vsv -u                    Show service status in ~/runit/service
vsv -u restart ssh-agent  Restart ssh-agent in ~/runit/service/ssh-agent


This project uses:

$ make check
shellcheck vsv


MIT License

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