libdaemon 0.14

Copyright 2003-2009 Lennart Poettering <mzqnrzba (at) 0pointer (dot) de>


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.


Sun Oct 18 2009:

Version 0.14 released; changes include: add daemon_set_verbosity() call; numerous updates

Tue Jul 29 2008:

Version 0.13 released; changes include: add daemon_reset_sigs() and daemon_unblock_sigs() calls for resetting signal handlers to sensible states; improve error handling.

Tue Jul 10 2007:

Version 0.12 released; changes include: make daemon_close_all() actually work properly.

Fri Jun 22 2007:

Version 0.11 released; changes include: automatically detect whether lynx is installed; properly set errno on every error condition; add new function daemon_close_all() to close all open file descriptors except a given set; add daemon_logv(), which is identical to daemon_log(), but takes a va_list argument; add daemon_execv() in similar style; other fixes

Thu Nov 24 2005:

Version 0.10 released; changes include: make logging compatible with daemons running in a chroot() environment

Fri Nov 18 2005:

Version 0.9 released; changes include: portability (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin, Solaris, Cygwin); some minor header file cleanups; fix access mode of PID files; other cleanups; license change from GPL to LGPL

Sat Jun 4 2005:

Version 0.8 released; changes include: proper PID file locking

Sat Dec 18 2004:

Version 0.7 released; changes include: minor cleanups; C++ compatibility; gcc 2.95 compatiblity

Wed Apr 7 2004:

Version 0.6 released; changes include: backgrounding fixes, minor other stuff

Tue Feb 10 2004:

Version 0.5 released; changes include: signal handling fix, forking fix

Sat Jan 10 2004:

Version 0.4 released; changes include: new module dexec.c; added pkg-config support.

Mon Oct 20 2003:

Version 0.3 released; changes include: documentation update, build fixes, RPM spec file added, added new function int daemon_pid_file_kill_wait().

Thu July 10 2003:

Version 0.2 released; changes include: ugly umask error fix, documentation update

Mon July 7 2003:

Version 0.1 released


libdaemon is a lightweight C library that eases the writing of UNIX daemons. It consists of the following parts:

APIs like these are used in most daemon software available. It is not that simple to get it done right and code duplication is not a goal.

libdaemon is currently used by ifplugd, Avahi, ivam2, Nautilus-Share and aeswepd.

Current Status

Version 0.14 is feature complete.


An extensive API reference is available


libdaemon was developed and tested on Debian GNU/Linux "testing" from July 2003, it should work on most other Linux distributions (and some Unix versions) since it uses GNU Autoconf and GNU libtool for source code configuration and shared library management.

libdaemon is known to work on modern Linux systems, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin, Solaris and Windows/Cygwin.


As this package is made with the GNU autotools you should run ./configure inside the distribution directory for configuring the source tree. After that you should run make for compilation and make install (as root) for installation of libdaemon.

Please use gmake instead of traditional make for compilation on non-Linux systems.


Sebastien Estienne, for a lot of portability work.


The newest release is always available from

Get libdaemon's development sources from the GIT repository (gitweb):

git clone git://

You may find an up to date Debian package of libdaemon on the Debian package repository.

If you want to be notified whenever I release a new version of this software use the subscription feature of Freshmeat.

Lennart Poettering <mzqnrzba (at) 0pointer (dot) de>, October 2009