systemd-run may be used to create and start a transient .service or
.scope unit and run the specified COMMAND in it. It may also be used
to create and start a transient .timer unit, that activates a
.service unit when elapsing.
If a command is run as transient service unit, it will be started and
managed by the service manager like any other service, and thus shows
up in the output of systemctl list-units like any other unit. It will
run in a clean and detached execution environment, with the service
manager as its parent process. In this mode, systemd-run will start
the service asynchronously in the background and return after the
command has begun execution (unless --no-block or --watch are
specified, see below).
If a command is run as transient scope unit, it will be executed by
systemd-run itself as parent process and will thus inherit the
execution environment of the caller. However, the processes of the
command are managed by the service manager similar to normal
services, and will show up in the output of systemctl list-units.
Execution in this case is synchronous, and will return only when the
command finishes. This mode is enabled via the --scope switch (see
If a command is run with timer options such as --on-calendar= (see
below), a transient timer unit is created alongside the service unit
for the specified command. Only the transient timer unit is started
immediately, the transient service unit will be started when the
timer elapses. If the --unit= option is specified, the COMMAND may be
omitted. In this case, systemd-run creates only a .timer unit that
invokes the specified unit when elapsing.
The following options are understood:
Do not query the user for authentication for privileged
Create a transient .scope unit instead of the default transient
.service unit (see above).
Use this unit name instead of an automatically generated one.
Sets a property on the scope or service unit that is created.
This option takes an assignment in the same format as
systemctl(1)'s set-property command.
Provide a description for the service, scope or timer unit. If
not specified, the command itself will be used as a description.
See Description= in systemd.unit(5).
Make the new .service or .scope unit part of the specified slice,
instead of system.slice.
After the service process has terminated, keep the service around
until it is explicitly stopped. This is useful to collect runtime
information about the service after it finished running. Also see
RemainAfterExit= in systemd.service(5).
When terminating the scope or service unit, send a SIGHUP
immediately after SIGTERM. This is useful to indicate to shells
and shell-like processes that the connection has been severed.
Also see SendSIGHUP= in systemd.kill(5).
Sets the service type. Also see Type= in systemd.service(5). This
option has no effect in conjunction with --scope. Defaults to
Runs the service process under the specified UNIX user and group.
Also see User= and Group= in systemd.exec(5).
Runs the service process with the specified nice level. Also see
Nice= in systemd.exec(5).
-E NAME=VALUE, --setenv=NAME=VALUE
Runs the service process with the specified environment variable
set. Also see Environment= in systemd.exec(5).
When invoking the command, the transient service connects its
standard input and output to the terminal systemd-run is invoked
on, via a pseudo TTY device. This allows running binaries that
expect interactive user input as services, such as interactive
Suppresses additional informational output while running. This is
particularly useful in combination with --pty when it will
suppress the initial message explaining how to terminate the TTY
--on-active=, --on-boot=, --on-startup=, --on-unit-active=,
Defines a monotonic timer relative to different starting points
for starting the specified command. See OnActiveSec=, OnBootSec=,
OnStartupSec=, OnUnitActiveSec= and OnUnitInactiveSec= in
systemd.timer(5) for details. These options may not be combined
Defines a calendar timer for starting the specified command. See
OnCalendar= in systemd.timer(5). This option may not be combined
Sets a property on the timer unit that is created. This option is
similar to --property= but applies to the transient timer unit
rather than the transient service unit created. This option only
has an effect in conjunction with --on-active=, --on-boot=,
--on-startup=, --on-unit-active=, --on-unit-inactive= or
--on-calendar=. This option takes an assignment in the same
format as systemctl(1)'s set-property command.
Do not synchronously wait for the unit start operation to finish.
If this option is not specified, the start request for the
transient unit will be verified, enqueued and systemd-run will
wait until the unit's start-up is completed. By passing this
argument, it is only verified and enqueued. This option may not
be combined with --wait.
Synchronously wait for the transient service to terminate. If
this option is specified, the start request for the transient
unit is verified, enqueued, and waited for. Subsequently the
invoked unit is monitored, and it is waited until it is
deactivated again (most likely because the specified command
completed). On exit, terse information about the unit's runtime
is shown, including total runtime (as well as CPU usage, if
--property=CPUAccounting=1 was set) and the exit code and status
of the main process. This output may be suppressed with --quiet.
This option may not be combined with --no-block, --scope or the
various timer options.
Talk to the service manager of the calling user, rather than the
service manager of the system.
Talk to the service manager of the system. This is the implied
Execute the operation remotely. Specify a hostname, or a username
and hostname separated by "@", to connect to. The hostname may
optionally be suffixed by a container name, separated by ":",
which connects directly to a specific container on the specified
host. This will use SSH to talk to the remote machine manager
instance. Container names may be enumerated with machinectl -HHOST.
Execute operation on a local container. Specify a container name
to connect to.
Print a short help text and exit.
Print a short version string and exit.
All command line arguments after the first non-option argument become
part of the command line of the launched process. If a command is run
as service unit, its first argument needs to be an absolute binary
Example 1. Logging environment variables provided by systemd toservices
# systemd-run env
Running as unit: run-19945.service
# journalctl -u run-19945.service
Sep 08 07:37:21 bupkis systemd: Starting /usr/bin/env...
Sep 08 07:37:21 bupkis systemd: Started /usr/bin/env.
Sep 08 07:37:21 bupkis env: PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin
Sep 08 07:37:21 bupkis env: LANG=en_US.UTF-8
Sep 08 07:37:21 bupkis env: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-3.11.0-0.rc5.git6.2.fc20.x86_64
Example 2. Limiting resources available to a command
# systemd-run -p BlockIOWeight=10 updatedb
This command invokes the updatedb(8) tool, but lowers the block I/O
weight for it to 10. See systemd.resource-control(5) for more
information on the BlockIOWeight= property.
Example 3. Running commands at a specified time
The following command will touch a file after 30 seconds.
# date; systemd-run --on-active=30 --timer-property=AccuracySec=100ms /bin/touch /tmp/foo
Mon Dec 8 20:44:24 KST 2014
Running as unit: run-71.timer
Will run service as unit: run-71.service
# journalctl -b -u run-71.timer
-- Logs begin at Fri 2014-12-05 19:09:21 KST, end at Mon 2014-12-08 20:44:54 KST. --
Dec 08 20:44:38 container systemd: Starting /bin/touch /tmp/foo.
Dec 08 20:44:38 container systemd: Started /bin/touch /tmp/foo.
# journalctl -b -u run-71.service
-- Logs begin at Fri 2014-12-05 19:09:21 KST, end at Mon 2014-12-08 20:44:54 KST. --
Dec 08 20:44:48 container systemd: Starting /bin/touch /tmp/foo...
Dec 08 20:44:48 container systemd: Started /bin/touch /tmp/foo.
Example 4. Allowing access to the tty
The following command invokes /bin/bash as a service passing its
standard input, output and error to the calling TTY.
# systemd-run -t --send-sighup /bin/bash
Example 5. Start screen as a user service
$ systemd-run --scope --user screen
Running scope as unit run-r14b0047ab6df45bfb45e7786cc839e76.scope.
$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-fatima.
This starts the screen process as a child of the systemd --user
process that was started by user@.service, in a scope unit. A
systemd.scope(5) unit is used instead of a systemd.service(5) unit,
because screen will exit when detaching from the terminal, and a
service unit would be terminated. Running screen as a user unit has
the advantage that it is not part of the session scope. If
KillUserProcesses=yes is configured in logind.conf(5), the default,
the session scope will be terminated when the user logs out of that
The user@.service is started automatically when the user first logs
in, and stays around as long as at least one login session is open.
After the user logs out of the last session, user@.service and all
services underneath it are terminated. This behaviour is the default,
when "lingering" is not enabled for that user. Enabling lingering
means that user@.service is started automatically during boot, even
if the user is not logged in, and that the service is not terminated
when the user logs out.
Enabling lingering allows the user to run processes without being
logged in, for example to allow screen to persist after the user logs
out, even if the session scope is terminated. In the default
configuration, users can enable lingering for themselves:
$ loginctl enable-linger
This page is part of the systemd (systemd system and service manager)
project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd⟩. If you have a bug
report for this manual page, see
page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
⟨https://github.com/systemd/systemd.git⟩ on 2016-09-01. If you dis‐
cover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or
you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail
systemd 231 SYSTEMD-RUN(1)