On System V based OS's the /etc/rc.local file is executed by the init process at the end of the systems boot process. The fact that the rc.local file is executed during the boot process makes it an easy target for misuse by lazy Sysadmins. Since I started my Unix experience on FreeBSD which relies primarily on the /etc/rc.* configuration files, I've seen and shamefully contributed to my fair share of misuse in the rc.
This is something I ran into recently over the weekend. I made modifications to the DNS of a domain and I couldn't get my mac to recognize the change.
The culprit was DNS caching, after flushing my DNS cache all was well.
# dscacheutil -flushcache
As of Solaris 9, Sun introduced a new utility called Service Management Facility. This utility is now (Solaris 11) the preferred method of managing your services. While the /etc/rc.X/ directories are still around and work they are considered legacy.
Here is a quick example of enabling apache to get you started.
# svcs -a | grep http disabled 10:23:11 svc:/network/http:apache22 # svcadm enable http # svcs -a | grep http online 10:30:23 svc:/network/http:apache22 This will enable apache for not only your live session but will also enable it for boot as well.