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Create a simple systemd service unit file and run a script on boot

This document (000019672) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12


A script is needed to run on boot. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and above, a systemd service unit file is needed. There are MANY parameters you can add, but here is the most simple version of a unit file:


Here is a very simple script to run. For this basic setup we create a simple script that runs once and then is done as part of the boot process. For this example the script is in /usr/sbin/. The script needs to be marked executable.
server1:/root/ # ls -lah /usr/sbin/
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 58 Jul 24 14:14 /usr/sbin/

server1:/root/ # cat /usr/sbin/
echo "the script works" >> /tmp/diditwork.txt

Next create a systemd service unit file named test.service. Please note you want this to be in /etc/systemd/system/ and NOT in /usr/lib/systemd/ or it could be written over on the next update.

The key thing to change is the path to your script in your environment. ExecStart=/bin/bash /usr/sbin/   (The example script created above is /usr/sbin/       
server1:/etc/systemd/system # cat /etc/systemd/system/test.service
Description=example systemd service unit file.

ExecStart=/bin/bash /usr/sbin/

NOTE: Depending on the intention, it may be desired to add the "Type=oneshot" option at the start of the [Service] section. The default with the above example would be "Type=simple", basically changing this determines how a service is handled. All the possible options available and their influence on a systemd service however goes beyond the scope of this TID, for additional details see the systemd.service man page.

To reload systemd with this new service unit file, run:
systemctl daemon-reload

Finally to start the script on boot, enable the service with systemd:
systemctl enable test.service

After a reboot, the service file ran the script. The script wrote the output correctly to the output file:
server1:/root/ # cat /tmp/diditwork.txt
the script works

Additional Information

For complete documentation about systemd services, please visit systemd service documentation


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:000019672
  • Creation Date: 17-Nov-2023
  • Modified Date:17-Nov-2023
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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