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 transient .timer units.
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.
If a command is run as transient scope unit, it will be started 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
transient timer elapses. If the --unit= is specified, the COMMAND may
be omitted. In this case, systemd-run only creates 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
Use this unit name instead of an automatically generated one.
Sets a unit property for the scope or service unit that is
created. This takes an assignment in the same format as
systemctl(1)'s set-property command.
Provide a description for the service or scope 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 the system.slice.
After the service or scope 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 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 a command, the service connects its standard input
and output to the invoking tty via a pseudo TTY device. This
allows invoking binaries as services that expect interactive user
input, such as interactive command shells.
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 monotonic timers relative to different starting points.
Also see OnActiveSec=, OnBootSec=, OnStartupSec=,
OnUnitActiveSec= and OnUnitInactiveSec= in systemd.timer(5). This
options have no effect in conjunction with --scope.
Defines realtime (i.e. wallclock) timers with calendar event
expressions. Also see OnCalendar= in systemd.timer(5). This
option has no effect in conjunction with --scope.
Sets a timer unit property for the timer unit that is created. It
is similar with --property but only for created timer unit. This
option only has effect in conjunction with --on-active=,
--on-boot=, --on-startup=, --on-unit-active=,
--on-unit-inactive=, --on-calendar=. This takes an assignment in
the same format as systemctl(1)'s set-property command.
Do not synchronously wait for the requested operation to finish.
If this is not specified, the job 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.
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 2016-08-07. 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)