Kayode Oluwasegun
Kayode Oluwasegun

Kayode Oluwasegun

Running scripts on boot in Linux using systemd

Running scripts on boot in Linux using systemd

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Kayode Oluwasegun
·Apr 9, 2022·

2 min read

Introduction

In this article, we will configure our Linux computer to autorun a script on boot. For the purpose of this article, we will be making use of systemd services.

BTW, I use Arch Linux so if there’s any difference using a different distro, do not hesitate to leave a comment, please.

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What is systemd

systemd is a suite of basic building blocks for a Linux system. It provides a system and a service manager that runs as PID and starts the rest of the system. systemd provides aggressive parallelisation capabilities, uses sockets and D-Bus activation for starting services, keep track of processes etc.

You can read more on systemd here.

The main command used to introspect and control systemd is systemctl.

Steps

  • First, we will create a Bash script in /usr/local/sbin, for instance [notifyRemote.sh](http://notifyRemote.sh) that would notify a remote machine once it’s booted.
  • We will make the file executable by running the command:

      sudo chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/notifyRemote.sh
    
  • Create a Unit file called startup.service in /etc/systemd/system/ to define a systemd service. You would need root access (sudo) to make changes or create these files.

  • We will make the file executable by running the command:

      sudo chmod +x /etc/systemd/system/startup.service
    
  • In /etc/systemd/system/startup.service we would paste the below into the file as such:

      [Unit]
      Description=My Startup
    
      [Service]
      ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/notifyRemote.sh
    
      [Install]
      WantedBy=multi.user.target
    
  • The ExecStart is the most important key here because it points to the Bash program that will be run when the service is started.

  • We can test the service by running sudo systemctl start startup.service to confirm that the script will run

  • Now to enable services to run on boot, we will run the command

      sudo systemctl enable startup.service
    

Conclusion

Now we should successfully create a script that runs automatically anytime we start our Linux machine.

You can consult systemd man page for more information.

I hope you find this helpful. Please leave a like, comment and share if you find this helpful and also you can consider buying me a coffee too.

 
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