202.1. Customizing SysV-init system startup

202.1 Customizing SysV-init system startup

Weight: 3

Description: Candidates should be able to query and modify the behaviour of system services at various targets / run levels. A thorough understanding of the systemd, SysV Init and the Linux boot process is required. This objective includes interacting with systemd targets and SysV init run levels.

Key Knowledge Areas:

  • Systemd

  • SysV init

  • Linux Standard Base Specification (LSB)

Terms and Utilities:

  • /usr/lib/systemd/

  • /etc/systemd/

  • /run/systemd/

  • systemctl

  • systemd-delta

  • /etc/inittab

  • /etc/init.d/

  • /etc/rc.d/

  • chkconfig

  • update-rc.d

  • init and telinit

Over View

During the previous lessons we talked about initrd/initramfs. When the kernel completly loaded it searchs for init process to start it. init process can be init, upstart or systemd. Traditionally System v init is used to start other services but it has some short comings. So other solutions invented like upstart and systemd.

/sbin/init can be linked to upstart or systemd. to check which system you are running, check each directory existence:


Description [if exist]


Shows you have SysV in your linux box


You are on a Upstart Based system


You are using Systemd-Based system

also try stat /proc/1/exe



File: ‘/proc/1/exe’ -> ‘/sbin/init’

in SysV and upstart system

File: '/proc/1/exe' -> '/lib/systemd/systemd'

in Systemd box

Sys v

System "5" or Sys "v" is an ancient method of handling system services from unix world back to 1980s. SysV uses serial loading of services, in another word each service must be loaded in sequence (after each other). SysV uses runlevels concept to define which stat the server should boot in. In each runlevel specific amount of shell scripts is processed to reach the state we desire.

runlevels start from 0 upto 6 and they are different in Redhat based and Debian based systems.





System Halt (do not set as default)

System Halt (do not use as default)


Single User Mode

Single User Mode


Multi User without NFS

Full multi User mode with GUI(default)


Full Multi User Mode

--same as 2-- --unused--



--same as 2-- --unused--


X11/Full Multi user Mode(default)

--same as 2-- --unused--


reboot (Do not set as initdefault)

rebbot (do not set as default)

/etc/inittab is SysV configuration file where default runlevel can be set, We use CentOS 5 for demonstration :

# inittab This file describes how the INIT process should set up
# the system in a certain run-level.
# Author: Miquel van Smoorenburg, <[email protected]>
# Modified for RHS Linux by Marc Ewing and Donnie Barnes
# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
# 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# 1 - Single user mode
# 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
# 3 - Full multiuser mode
# 4 - unused
# 5 - X11
# 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# System initialization.
l0:0:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 0
l1:1:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 1
l2:2:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 2
l3:3:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 3
l4:4:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 4
l5:5:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 5
l6:6:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 6
ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -r now
# When our UPS tells us power has failed, assume we have a few minutes
# of power left. Schedule a shutdown for 2 minutes from now.
# This does, of course, assume you have powerd installed and your
# UPS connected and working correctly.
pf::powerfail:/sbin/shutdown -f -h +2 "Power Failure; System Shutting Down"
# If power was restored before the shutdown kicked in, cancel it.
pr:12345:powerokwait:/sbin/shutdown -c "Power Restored; Shutdown Cancelled"
# Run gettys in standard runlevels
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
2:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty2
3:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3
4:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty4
5:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty5
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6
# Run xdm in runlevel 5
x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon

By modifying id:5:initdefault: we can change the run level for the next time boot but there is another proper way :

init / telinit

init and telinit commands are the same.how ever telinit is recommended. They are both used to change current system runlevel

[[email protected] ~]# telinit 3

and for come back to previous run level:

[[email protected] ~]# telinit 5

and to see previous runlevel and current runlevel use runlevel command:

[[email protected] ~]# runlevel
3 5

as you can see 3 was our previous runlevel and we have switched from it to 5.

/etc/init.d and /etc/rc.d

as we said SysV runs scripts in sequence to start services. But how and where they are managed? its simple but implementation is some how complicated.

all scripts are inside /etc/rc.d/init.d but there are symbolic links to desired rc folder. each rc folder specify one runlevel. so if you want to manually start a service in a run level you can create a symbolic link inside desired rc folder from init.d folder and put a name with sequence for that. "K" for Kill the service and "S" to Start it.


Exploring rc folders, creating symbolic links is a hard job. chkconfig is a great tool which let us turn on or off specific service or services in desired runlevel.lets start:

[[email protected] ~]# chkconfig
chkconfig version - Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Red Hat, Inc.
This may be freely redistributed under the terms of the GNU Public License.
usage: chkconfig --list [name]
chkconfig --add <name>
chkconfig --del <name>
chkconfig [--level <levels>] <name> <on|off|reset|resetpriorities>
[[email protected] ~]# chkconfig --list
NetworkManager 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
acpid 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
anacron 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
atd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
auditd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
autofs 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
avahi-daemon 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
avahi-dnsconfd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
bluetooth 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
conman 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
cpuspeed 0:off 1:on 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
crond 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
cups 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
dnsmasq 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
dund 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
firstboot 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:off 5:on 6:off
gpm 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
haldaemon 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
hidd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
httpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
ip6tables 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
ipmi 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
iptables 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
irda 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
irqbalance 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
iscsi 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
iscsid 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
kudzu 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
lvm2-monitor 0:off 1:on 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
mcstrans 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
mdmonitor 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
mdmpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
messagebus 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
microcode_ctl 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
multipathd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
netconsole 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
netfs 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
netplugd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
network 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
nfs 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
nfslock 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
nscd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
ntpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
oddjobd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
pand 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
pcscd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
portmap 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
psacct 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
rawdevices 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
rdisc 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
readahead_early 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
readahead_later 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:on 6:off
restorecond 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
rpcgssd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
rpcidmapd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
rpcsvcgssd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
saslauthd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
sendmail 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
smartd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
sshd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
svnserve 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
syslog 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
vmware-tools 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
vmware-tools-thinprint 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
vncserver 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
wdaemon 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
wpa_supplicant 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
xfs 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off
ypbind 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
yum-updatesd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

to change see some usefull examples:



chkconfig <service name> on

start service on any unspecial run level(3,4,5 centOS)

chkconfig <service name> off

turn service off in all runlevels

chkconfig --list <service name>

List service condition in all unlevels

chkconfig --level 345 <service name> on/off

Turn serve on/off in runlevel 3,4 and 5


in Debian based systems like ubuntu update-rc.d used as a command instead of chkconfig command

[email protected]:/etc# update-rc.d
usage: update-rc.d [-n] [-f] <basename> remove
update-rc.d [-n] <basename> defaults [NN | SS KK]
update-rc.d [-n] <basename> start|stop NN runlvl [runlvl] [...] .
update-rc.d [-n] <basename> disable|enable [S|2|3|4|5]
-n: not really
-f: force
The disable|enable API is not stable and might change in the future.
[email protected]:/etc# update-rc.d apparmor disable
update-rc.d: warning: apparmor start runlevel arguments (none) do not match LSB Default-Start values (S)
Disabling system startup links for /etc/init.d/apparmor ...
Removing any system startup links for /etc/init.d/apparmor ...
Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/apparmor ...
/etc/rc0.d/K63apparmor -> ../init.d/apparmor


The first serious attempt to replace systemV was upstart, created by ubuntu. upstart is reactionary, means it takes events and based on them run jobs. In comparison with SysV upstart is more flexible but still it uses scripts and like SysV has some shortages. Although upstart is backward compatible and lets us to use SysV commands. if your system has /etc/init directory it us using upstart.

upstart keeps all previous SysV Folders and uses it, We use Ubuntu 14 machine :

[email protected]:/etc# cd /etc/init.d/ && ls
acpid dns-clean procps single
anacron friendly-recovery pulseaudio skeleton
apparmor grub-common rc speech-dispatcher
apport halt rc.local sudo
avahi-daemon irqbalance rcS thermald
bluetooth kerneloops README udev
brltty killprocs reboot umountfs
console-setup kmod resolvconf umountnfs.sh
cron lightdm rsync umountroot
cups networking rsyslog unattended-upgrades
cups-browsed ondemand saned urandom
dbus pppd-dns sendsigs x11-common
[email protected]:~# cd /etc/rc6.d/ && ls -l
total 4
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 29 Dec 9 02:07 K10unattended-upgrades -> ../init.d/unattended-upgrades
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 20 Dec 9 02:07 K20kerneloops -> ../init.d/kerneloops
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 Dec 9 02:07 K20rsync -> ../init.d/rsync
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 27 Dec 9 02:07 K20speech-dispatcher -> ../init.d/speech-dispatcher
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 351 Mar 12 2014 README
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 18 Dec 9 02:07 S20sendsigs -> ../init.d/sendsigs
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 17 Dec 9 02:07 S30urandom -> ../init.d/urandom
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 22 Dec 9 02:07 S31umountnfs.sh -> ../init.d/umountnfs.sh
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 18 Dec 9 02:07 S40umountfs -> ../init.d/umountfs
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 20 Dec 9 02:07 S60umountroot -> ../init.d/umountroot
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 Dec 9 02:07 S90reboot -> ../init.d/reboot

The configuration files of native upstart services are in /etc/init/ directory :

[email protected]:/etc/init# ls
acpid.conf mtab.sh.conf
alsa-restore.conf networking.conf
alsa-state.conf network-interface.conf
alsa-store.conf network-interface-container.conf
anacron.conf network-interface-security.conf
apport.conf network-manager.conf
avahi-cups-reload.conf passwd.conf
avahi-daemon.conf plymouth.conf
bluetooth.conf plymouth-log.conf
bootmisc.sh.conf plymouth-ready.conf
checkfs.sh.conf plymouth-shutdown.conf
checkroot-bootclean.sh.conf plymouth-splash.conf
checkroot.sh.conf plymouth-stop.conf
console.conf plymouth-upstart-bridge.conf
console-font.conf procps.conf
console-setup.conf pulseaudio.conf
container-detect.conf rc.conf
control-alt-delete.conf rcS.conf
cron.conf rc-sysinit.conf
cups-browsed.conf resolvconf.conf
cups.conf rfkill-restore.conf
dbus.conf rfkill-store.conf
dmesg.conf rsyslog.conf
failsafe.conf setvtrgb.conf
failsafe-x.conf shutdown.conf
flush-early-job-log.conf startpar-bridge.conf
friendly-recovery.conf systemd-logind.conf
gpu-manager.conf thermald.conf
hostname.conf tty1.conf
hwclock.conf tty2.conf
hwclock-save.conf tty3.conf
irqbalance.conf tty4.conf
kmod.conf tty5.conf
lightdm.conf tty6.conf
modemmanager.conf udev.conf
mountall-bootclean.sh.conf udev-fallback-graphics.conf
mountall.conf udev-finish.conf
mountall-net.conf udevmonitor.conf
mountall-reboot.conf udevtrigger.conf
mountall.sh.conf ufw.conf
mountall-shell.conf upstart-file-bridge.conf
mountdevsubfs.sh.conf upstart-socket-bridge.conf
mounted-debugfs.conf upstart-udev-bridge.conf
mounted-dev.conf ureadahead.conf
mounted-proc.conf ureadahead-other.conf
mounted-run.conf usb-modeswitch-upstart.conf
mounted-tmp.conf vmware-tools.conf
mounted-var.conf vmware-tools-thinprint.conf
mountkernfs.sh.conf wait-for-state.conf
mountnfs-bootclean.sh.conf whoopsie.conf

as an example let take a look at inside of ufw.conf:

# ufw - Uncomplicated Firewall
# The Uncomplicated Firewall is a front-end for iptables, to make managing a
# Netfilter firewall easier.
description "Uncomplicated firewall"
# Make sure we start before an interface receives traffic
start on (starting network-interface
or starting network-manager
or starting networking)
stop on runlevel [!023456]
console output
pre-start exec /lib/ufw/ufw-init start quiet
post-stop exec /lib/ufw/ufw-init stop

How upstart keeps backward compatibility and live beside old SysV? the secret is inside /etc/init/rcS.conf :

# rcS - System V single-user mode compatibility
# This task handles the old System V-style single-user mode, this is
# distinct from the other runlevels since running the rc script would
# be bad.
description "System V single-user mode compatibility"
author "Scott James Remnant <[email protected]>"
start on runlevel S
stop on runlevel [!S]
console owner
exec /sbin/sulogin
post-stop script
# Don't switch runlevels if we were stopped by an event, since that
# means we're already switching runlevels
if [ -n "${UPSTART_STOP_EVENTS}" ]
exit 0
# Switch, passing a magic flag
start --no-wait rc-sysinit FROM_SINGLE_USER_MODE=y
end script

bu using rcS.conf upstart can run SysV scripts which haven't been developed for upstart natively .


Systemd is used in all modern linuxes. Its a new way of starting linux services but that is not all. The idea of Systemd project is scary! Systemd developers have this idea to create Systemd OS which runs on linux OS. So it seems usual if we know it has its own tool which work like cron, or fstab, rsyslog ... .

In Systemd world we have tragets and unit files, targets is like our goal which we want to reach. But for reaching targets we need to specified what ever is needed to be load in unit files. As Systemd doing variety of thing, there for different types of unit files exists:

  • service : unit file to start a service considering its dependencies

  • mount : replace the mount in /etc/fstab

  • timer : replacement for cron

  • automount : mount a directory when needed

  • target : as we said a bunch of unit files :), target is an end point, tragets can be used as runlevel .

  • path :observ activities on a path and start a service associated with that

  • ...

/usr/lib/systemd/system and /etc/systemd/system

Orginal systemd ubit files are in /usr/lib/systemd/system directory but they should not be modified by administrators. Modification should be done in /etc/systemd/system and its good to know that they are linked. Inorde to do any modification we should copy service files from /usr/lib/systemd/system to /etc/systemd/system and then set our settings, we use Ubuntu 16:

[[email protected] system]# cd /usr/lib/systemd/system && ls
abrt-ccpp.service plymouth-poweroff.service
abrtd.service plymouth-quit.service
abrt-oops.service plymouth-quit-wait.service
abrt-pstoreoops.service plymouth-read-write.service
abrt-vmcore.service plymouth-reboot.service
abrt-xorg.service plymouth-start.service
accounts-daemon.service plymouth-switch-root.service
alsa-restore.service polkit.service
alsa-state.service postfix.service
alsa-store.service poweroff.target
anaconda-direct.service poweroff.target.wants
anaconda-nm-config.service printer.target
anaconda-noshell.service proc-fs-nfsd.mount
anaconda-pre.service proc-sys-fs-binfmt_misc.automount
anaconda.service proc-sys-fs-binfmt_misc.mount
[email protected] psacct.service
anaconda-sshd.service qemu-guest-agent.service
anaconda.target quotaon.service
[email protected] radvd.service
arp-ethers.service rc-local.service
atd.service rdisc.service
auditd.service rdma-ndd.service
auth-rpcgss-module.service rdma.service
autofs.service realmd.service
[email protected] reboot.target
avahi-daemon.service reboot.target.wants
avahi-daemon.socket remote-fs-pre.target
basic.target remote-fs.target
basic.target.wants rescue.service
blk-availability.service rescue.target
bluetooth.service rescue.target.wants
bluetooth.target rhel-autorelabel-mark.service
brandbot.path rhel-autorelabel.service
brandbot.service rhel-configure.service
brltty.service rhel-dmesg.service
canberra-system-bootup.service rhel-domainname.service
canberra-system-shutdown-reboot.service rhel-import-state.service
canberra-system-shutdown.service rhel-loadmodules.service
certmonger.service rhel-readonly.service
cgconfig.service rngd.service
cgdcbxd.service rpcbind.service
cgred.service rpcbind.socket
[email protected] rpcbind.target
[email protected] rpc-gssd.service
chronyd.service rpcgssd.service
chrony-wait.service rpcidmapd.service
colord.service rpc-rquotad.service
[email protected] rpc-statd-notify.service
console-getty.service rpc-statd.service
console-shell.service rsyncd.service
cpupower.service rsyncd.socket
crond.service rsyslog.service
cryptsetup-pre.target rtkit-daemon.service
cryptsetup.target runlevel0.target
ctrl-alt-del.target runlevel1.target
cups-browsed.service runlevel1.target.wants
cups.path runlevel2.target
cups.service runlevel2.target.wants
cups.socket runlevel3.target
dbus-org.freedesktop.hostname1.service runlevel3.target.wants
dbus-org.freedesktop.import1.service runlevel4.target
dbus-org.freedesktop.locale1.service runlevel4.target.wants
dbus-org.freedesktop.login1.service runlevel5.target
dbus-org.freedesktop.machine1.service runlevel5.target.wants
dbus-org.freedesktop.timedate1.service runlevel6.target
dbus.service saslauthd.service
dbus.socket [email protected]
dbus.target.wants [email protected]
debug-shell.service shutdown.target
default.target shutdown.target.wants
default.target.wants sigpwr.target
dev-hugepages.mount sleep.target
dev-mqueue.mount -.slice
dm-event.service slices.target
dm-event.socket smartcard.target
dmraid-activation.service smartd.service
dnsmasq.service sockets.target
dracut-cmdline.service sockets.target.wants
dracut-initqueue.service sound.target
dracut-mount.service speech-dispatcherd.service
dracut-pre-mount.service spice-vdagentd.service
dracut-pre-pivot.service spice-vdagentd.target
dracut-pre-trigger.service sshd-keygen.service
dracut-pre-udev.service sshd.service
dracut-shutdown.service [email protected]
ebtables.service sshd.socket
emergency.service sssd-autofs.service
emergency.target sssd-autofs.socket
fcoe.service sssd-nss.service
final.target sssd-nss.socket
firewalld.service sssd-pac.service
firstboot-graphical.service sssd-pac.socket
flatpak-system-helper.service sssd-pam-priv.socket
fprintd.service sssd-pam.service
fstrim.service sssd-pam.socket
fstrim.timer sssd-secrets.service
gdm.service sssd-secrets.socket
geoclue.service sssd.service
[email protected] sssd-ssh.service
getty.target sssd-ssh.socket
graphical.target sssd-sudo.service
graphical.target.wants sssd-sudo.socket
gssproxy.service suspend.target
halt-local.service svnserve.service
halt.target swap.target
halt.target.wants sys-fs-fuse-connections.mount
hibernate.target sysinit.target
hybrid-sleep.target sysinit.target.wants
hypervfcopyd.service sys-kernel-config.mount
hypervkvpd.service sys-kernel-debug.mount
hypervvssd.service syslog.socket
initial-setup-graphical.service syslog.target.wants
initial-setup-reconfiguration.service sysstat.service
initial-setup.service systemd-ask-password-console.path
initial-setup-text.service systemd-ask-password-console.service
initrd-cleanup.service systemd-ask-password-plymouth.path
initrd-fs.target systemd-ask-password-plymouth.service
initrd-parse-etc.service systemd-ask-password-wall.path
initrd-root-fs.target systemd-ask-password-wall.service
initrd-switch-root.service [email protected]
initrd-switch-root.target systemd-binfmt.service
initrd-switch-root.target.wants systemd-bootchart.service
initrd.target systemd-firstboot.service
initrd.target.wants systemd-fsck-root.service
initrd-udevadm-cleanup-db.service [email protected]
instperf.service systemd-halt.service
iprdump.service [email protected]
iprinit.service systemd-hibernate.service
iprupdate.service systemd-hostnamed.service
iprutils.target systemd-hwdb-update.service
ipsec.service systemd-hybrid-sleep.service
irqbalance.service systemd-importd.service
iscsid.service systemd-initctl.service
iscsid.socket systemd-initctl.socket
iscsi.service systemd-journal-catalog-update.service
iscsi-shutdown.service systemd-journald.service
iscsiuio.service systemd-journald.socket
iscsiuio.socket systemd-journal-flush.service
kdump.service systemd-kexec.service
kexec.target systemd-localed.service
kexec.target.wants systemd-logind.service
kmod-static-nodes.service systemd-machined.service
kpatch.service systemd-machine-id-commit.service
ksm.service systemd-modules-load.service
ksmtuned.service [email protected]
libstoragemgmt.service systemd-poweroff.service
libvirtd.service systemd-quotacheck.service
lldpad.service systemd-random-seed.service
lldpad.socket systemd-readahead-collect.service
local-fs-pre.target systemd-readahead-done.service
local-fs.target systemd-readahead-done.timer
local-fs.target.wants systemd-readahead-drop.service
lvm2-lvmetad.service systemd-readahead-replay.service
lvm2-lvmetad.socket systemd-reboot.service
lvm2-lvmpolld.service systemd-remount-fs.service
lvm2-lvmpolld.socket [email protected]
lvm2-monitor.service systemd-shutdownd.service
[email protected] systemd-shutdownd.socket
machine.slice systemd-suspend.service
machines.target systemd-sysctl.service
[email protected] systemd-timedated.service
[email protected] systemd-tmpfiles-clean.service
[email protected] systemd-tmpfiles-clean.timer
mdmonitor.service systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service
[email protected] systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service
messagebus.service systemd-udevd-control.socket
microcode.service systemd-udevd-kernel.socket
ModemManager.service systemd-udevd.service
multipathd.service systemd-udev-settle.service
multi-user.target systemd-udev-trigger.service
multi-user.target.wants systemd-update-done.service
netcf-transaction.service systemd-update-utmp-runlevel.service
NetworkManager-dispatcher.service systemd-update-utmp.service
NetworkManager.service systemd-user-sessions.service
NetworkManager-wait-online.service systemd-vconsole-setup.service
network-online.target system.slice
network-online.target.wants system-update.target
network-pre.target system-update.target.wants
network.target target.service
nfs-blkmap.service tcsd.service
nfs-client.target [email protected]
nfs-config.service timers.target
nfs-idmapd.service timers.target.wants
nfs-idmap.service time-sync.target
nfs-lock.service tmp.mount
nfslock.service tuned.service
nfs-mountd.service udisks2.service
nfs-rquotad.service umount.target
nfs-secure.service upower.service
nfs-server.service [email protected]
nfs.service usbmuxd.service
nfs-utils.service user.slice
nss-lookup.target var-lib-nfs-rpc_pipefs.mount
nss-user-lookup.target vgauthd.service
ntpdate.service virt-guest-shutdown.target
ntpd.service virtlockd.service
numad.service virtlockd.socket
oddjobd.service virtlogd.service
packagekit-offline-update.service virtlogd.socket
packagekit.service vmtoolsd.service
paths.target [email protected]
plymouth-halt.service wpa_supplicant.service
plymouth-kexec.service zram.service
[[email protected] system]# cd /etc/systemd/system/ && ls -l
total 4
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 31 Oct 28 11:21 basic.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 31 Oct 28 11:20 bluetooth.target.wants
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 41 Oct 28 11:20 dbus-org.bluez.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 41 Oct 28 11:20 dbus-org.fedoraproject.FirewallD1.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/firewalld.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 44 Oct 28 11:21 dbus-org.freedesktop.Avahi.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/avahi-daemon.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 44 Oct 28 11:21 dbus-org.freedesktop.ModemManager1.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/ModemManager.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 46 Oct 28 11:20 dbus-org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/NetworkManager.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 57 Oct 28 11:20 dbus-org.freedesktop.nm-dispatcher.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/NetworkManager-dispatcher.service
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 36 Oct 28 11:25 default.target -> /lib/systemd/system/graphical.target
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 87 Oct 28 11:20 default.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 38 Oct 28 11:21 dev-virtio\x2dports-org.qemu.guest_agent.0.device.wants
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 35 Oct 28 11:21 display-manager.service -> /usr/lib/systemd/system/gdm.service
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 32 Oct 28 11:20 getty.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 65 Oct 28 11:27 graphical.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Oct 28 11:27 multi-user.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 26 Oct 28 11:21 printer.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 31 Oct 28 11:20 remote-fs.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 188 Oct 28 11:21 sockets.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 36 Oct 28 11:21 spice-vdagentd.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 26 Oct 28 11:20 sssd.service.d
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 169 Oct 28 11:20 sysinit.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 44 Oct 28 11:20 system-update.target.wants
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 29 Oct 28 11:20 vmtoolsd.service.requires

As you have probably seen Systemd works with different dependencies:




define unit files must beloaded, if not load it


[seen in targets], specify unit files which must be loaded but if not, takes it easy and continue


must be already loaded, if not loaded fails


unit files which never be activated with current unit file


current unit files activated before listed unit files


current unit file activated after listed unit file


systemctl is systemd magic command to work with services:

systemctl useful commands

systemctl start <ServiceName>

to start a service

systemctl stop <ServiceName>

to stop

systemctl disable <ServiceName>

disable it, won't be activated even after reboot

systemctl enable <ServiceName>

enable a service

systemctl relaod <ServiceName>

reload a service by reading its conf file,[might not work]

systemctl restart <ServiceName>

stop and start a service

systemctl list-unit-files --type=service

same as chkconf --list but in systemd environment

systemctl daemon-reload

Reload systemd Daemon, used after unit files modification

systemctl list-depencencies

List targets and services dependencies

For the History:


Pre 2006

2006 (14.04)-2019










SysV (centOS 5)

Upstart (centOS6)

systemd (centOS 7)