Using basic systemd commands

Systemd vs. Tradition

Learning systemd's commands reminds me of working with Debian's dpkg-reconfigure [3]. Both provide a consistent framework for configuring a Linux system. Of course, dpkg-reconfigure centers on packages, whereas systemd has more of a systems administrative perspective. With both, however, the consistency simplifies configuration and makes gathering information simpler.

In fact, exploring systemd's commands has at least partly reversed my reaction to it. When I first heard about systemd, it sounded like a massive complication that added an unneeded administrative layer to Linux. I suspected that, like the boot manager GRUB2 [4], it would scare novices away from hands-on administration – something that has always been one of the appeals of Linux.

However, now that I have actually looked into systemd, I think its consistency could actually encourage do-it-yourself discovery. Its common structure makes commands easier to learn, and users have a greater chance of guessing correctly if they cannot remember an option or command.

I am glad that most distributions have used aliases and symlinks to integrate systemd with existing tools for those who prefer not to learn it or want something to fall back on while they are learning. However, at least in some ways, systemd could actually be an improvement over the traditional tools.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Command Line: Systemd

    Wondering what all the fuss is about systemd? We explain the basic concepts and capabilities of the new system management suite – coming soon to a distro near you.

  • Systemd GUIs

    Graphical frontends make it easier to take full advantage of the Systemd process manager. We examine some leading tools for the KDE environment.

  • Systemd Graphical Tools

    Systemd has won the race, as indicated by the several tools that already offer a service just a mouse click away. We look at six of these tools.

  • Professor Knopper's Lab – Removing systemd

    The systemd service manager has been widely adopted by many Linux distros, so why would you want to remove it? The professor reveals why and how.

  • Working the System

    Every major aspect of a system that runs in userland can be controlled by systemctl, a command that acts on systemd's units.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More