The -s parameter does not seem to take effect in the startup behavior as described in the documentation:
-s Sets the startup behavior for SQL Anywhere services. You can set startup behavior to Automatic or Manual. The default is Manual.
Below is the statement I used to create the service with
opt/sqlanywhere12/bin32s$ sudo ./dbsvc -as -t network -w db12 -n ubuntubox -x tcpip -c 10m -s Automatic @/home/user/test/dbtest.txt
... SQLANYDIR=/opt/sqlanywhere12 STARTUP=Manual SVC_TOOL_CMDLINE="-n ubuntubox -x tcpip -c 10m -s Automatic @/home/user/test/dbfiles.txt -ud" ...
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32-bit
Is the -s parameter somehow tied to the type of account of the user who created the service?
For it to be recognized as a flag to dbsvc, and not to dbsrv12, it should appear before the -w flag when creating the service.
So the dbsvc command line should look like:
dbsvc <dbsvc_switches> -w <service_name> <dbsrv_switches>