Runlevels vs Targets[edit]

Unlike the old init system with different runlevels, Systemd defines sets of services to run inside targets.

Instead of using init 5:

# systemctl isolate

or init 3:

# systemctl isolate


Systemd keeps tracks of service logs.

Clearing Journal[edit]

Clear all the entries by running:

# journalctl --vacuum-time=1seconds


# journalctl --vacuum-size=1M

Limiting Log Sizes[edit]

Edit /etc/systemd/journald.conf and define a value for SystemMaxUse. Eg. SystemMaxUse=100M.

Creating a Service[edit]

Suppose you have a program that you want started when the system boots. To have systemd start the program as a service, create a new service file in /etc/systemd/system containing something like:

# cat /etc/systemd/system/mag-read.service
Description=Mag card reader



This service file will execute which will start a process that sits and waits for input from a mag-strip card reader and will automatically restart it if it stops.

Once the file has been created, reload systemd and enable the service:

# systemctl daemon-reload  # Reloads the service files so systemd is aware of the new one
# systemctl enable mag-read

SystemV-like Init Scripts[edit]

If you have custom packages that make use of the old SystemV startup scripts, you can use the following files to make use of such scripts.

In /usr/lib/systemd/system/startup.service

Description=Custom SystemV-like Startup



A few things of interest.

  • The ConditionFileIsExecutable will only run the script if it's executable. It basically does a test -x on the file before this continues.
  • RemainAfterExit will cause systemd to show the service as active even after the script has finished execution.

In /usr/local/sbin/custom-startup-initd:


# Run all scripts starting with 'S'
for i in `ls $StartupDir/S*` ; do
        ScriptName=`basename $i`
        sh $StartupDir/$ScriptName

# Success exit code.
exit 0

Make the directory:

# mkdir -p /usr/local/boot/startup/

Then place your scripts in the startup directory starting with the letter 'S'.

Enable the new service by running:

# systemctl enable startup
# systemctl start startup

Verify this:

# systemctl status startup.service