Linux Tactic

Optimizing Your Linux System with Systemd and Custom Scripts

Introduction to Systemd

As we interact with our computer systems every day, processes run in the background enabling us to work on various tasks. These processes can be daemons, login prompts, or system services.

An init system manages all these processes and is responsible for booting up and shutting down the operating system. Enter Systemd, an init system that was initially released in 2010 as a replacement for the SysV init system.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of Systemd and how it controls the startup process, starting, stopping, enabling, and disabling services.

Benefits of Systemd

Systemd uses parallel startup, which means that it launches system services dynamically, allowing them to start simultaneously. This approach results in a faster boot time compared to the older init systems, which started services sequentially, therefore taking much longer time.

Additionally, Systemd uses socket-based activation, which only starts services when the socket receives a request, significantly increasing the efficiency of resource usage. The introduction of Systemd has also helped to unify Linux platforms, making it easier to write and use software across various distributions.

Systemd as the Father of all processes

Systemd manages all processes in a Linux operating system through various units, including services, targets, and timers. Services are the programs and daemons that are run in the background on a Linux system.

Targets are the different states the system can be in, such as the graphical user interface or the multi-user target. Timers are used to schedule tasks to run at specific times.

Controlling Startup with Systemd

Systemd uses the concept of targets and runlevels to control the boot process. A target is a state that the system should boot into, and runlevels define the different states a Unix or Linux system can be in.

Systemd has several predefined targets such as the multi-user and graphical targets, which help manage the system’s resources. The default target is a special target that is set to the most common usage of a particular system.

For instance, on desktop or laptop machines, the default target is, which boots the system into a graphical user interface, while on servers, the default target is, which boots the system without a graphical user interface. Starting, Stopping, Enabling, and Disabling Services

Understanding Units and Services

Systemd has several units, which are used to manage different aspects of the system. The most common units are services and targets.

A service is a type of unit that manages a specific system service such as the network, while a target is a group of services or other target units that are started or stopped as a group.

Using systemctl to Control Services

Systemctl is a command-line tool that is used to control Systemd services. Using the systemctl command, a user can start, stop, restart, enable, and disable services on a system.

Additionally, the systemctl command can be used to check the status of a system service, allowing users to monitor and manage resources effectively.

Effect on Boot

Systemd’s parallel startup, socket-based activation, and efficient resource usage significantly impact the boot time of the Linux operating system. Once services have started, Systemd ensures that the services run reliably in the background, without any interruptions or hiccups.

This approach enhances stability, which means that code is much more stable, and systems experience fewer crashes.


Systemd is a modern and much more efficient init system that offers several benefits, including parallel startup, socket-based activation, and unified systems across Linux distributions. Using Systemd, it is possible to control the boot process effectively, manage services, and ensure that systems are stable.

Overall, deploying Systemd can enhance system performance, reliability, and provide a better user experience across different platforms. Adding Custom Scripts

to Systemd

Systemd is an excellent init system that offers various benefits over its predecessors, including faster boot times, more efficient resource usage, and stable code.

Although the system is excellent in itself, sometimes we may want to add custom scripts to automate certain tasks on our Linux systems. In this article, we will explore how to add custom scripts

to Systemd, specifically creating a service file for custom scripts and handling dependencies.

Creating a Service File

A service file is a configuration file used to define the characteristics of a service managed by Systemd. We can use this file to integrate a custom script into the Systemd startup routine.

For instance, let us assume that we have a script that we want to run every time the Wi-Fi connection drops or when we resume the system from suspend mode. To create a service file, navigate to /etc/systemd/system and create a new file with a .service extension.

In this example, we will create a wifi-resume.service file by running the following command:


sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/wifi-resume.service


Once in the nano editor, enter the following details in the file:



Description=Restart wifi service on resume



ExecStart=/usr/bin/sleep 5 && /usr/bin/systemctl restart network-manager.service



This example service file will restart the network-manager service after the system resumes from suspend or hibernate mode.

The service file has three main sections: [Unit], [Service], and [Install].

The [Unit] section provides a description of the service and defines the dependencies, which ensure that the service is started in the correct sequence when the system boots up. In our example, we have specified that the service should start after the suspend, hibernate, and hybrid-sleep targets.

The [Service] section provides directives that inform Systemd how to start, stop, and operate the service. In our case, we have specified that the service is a one-time command that runs after a 5-second delay defined by the sleep command.

The ExecStart directive specifies the command to run and restarts the network-manager service. The [Install] section specifies how the service is installed, specifying the desired target to start the service when the Systemd boot process begins.

In this case, we want the service to start when the system boots up in multi-user target.

Dependencies in Service Files

Service files can have dependencies that define the order in which services are started. For example, if our custom script relies on a specific service to run, we can define the service as a dependency in the service file.

In our previous example, we defined dependencies in the [Unit] section using the After directive. In a different example, let’s assume we have a script that relies on the Apache web server to provide service.

We would add the following lines to the [Unit] section of the service file:



Description=Custom PHP script




The After directive ensures that the script is started after the Apache service is started. The Wants directive ensures that the custom script is automatically started whenever the Apache service is started or restarted.


Systemd provides a simple and effective way to add custom scripts to Linux systems. Creating a service file is an essential step in integrating a custom script with the Systemd startup routine.

The unit section of the service file defines the dependencies for the service, and the service section specifies how it should be started, stopped, and operated. Including dependencies in the service file ensures that services are started in the correct sequence, with one service starting only after another has started successfully.

Systemd, combined with custom scripts, can result in an efficient and stable Linux system. In summary, the article delves in

to Systemd, its benefits, and how to use it to add custom scripts.

We explored the parallel startup, socket-based activation, and the efficient resource usage that makes Systemd more efficient than its predecessors. We also discussed how to create a service file for custom scripts, which can be used to automate several tasks on a Linux system.

Additionally, we looked at dependencies in the service files, which ensure that services start in the proper sequence. Understanding how to add custom scripts

to Systemd is crucial in ensuring a more efficient and reliable Linux system.

By employing the tips highlighted in this article, you can optimize your Linux system performance and achieve a more streamlined system startup routine.

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