Escherichia coli rnh mutants deficient in ribonuclease H (RNase H) are capable of DNA replication in the absence of protein synthesis. This constitutive stable DNA replication (SDR) is dependent upon the recA+ gene product. The requirement of SDR for recA+ can be suppressed by rin mutations (for recA+-independent), or by lexA(Def) mutations which inactivate the LexA repressor. Thus, there are at least three genetically distinct types of SDR in rnh mutants: recA+-dependent SDR seen in rnh- rin+ lexA+ strains, recA+-independent in rnh- rin- lexA+, and recA+-independent in rnh- rin+ lexA(Def). The expression of SDR in rin- and lexA(Def) mutants demonstrated a requirement for RNA synthesis and for the absence of RNase H. The suppression of the recA+ requirement by rin mutations was shown to depend on some new function of the recF+ gene product. In contrast, the suppression by lexA-(Def) mutations was not dependent on recF+. The lexA3 mutation inhibited recA+-dependent SDR via reducing the amount of recA+ activity available, and was suppressed by the recAo254 mutation. The SDR in rnh- rin- cells was also inhibited by the lexA3 mutation, but the inhibition was not reversed by the recAo254 mutation, indicating a requirement for some other lexA+-regulated gene product in the recA+-independent SDR process. A model is presented for the regulation of the expression of these three types of SDR by the products of the lexA+, rin+ and recF+ genes.