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dh_installsystemd - Man Page

install systemd unit files


dh_installsystemd [debhelper options] [--restart-after-upgrade] [--no-stop-on-upgrade] [--no-enable] [--no-start] [--name=name] [unit file ...]


dh_installsystemd is a debhelper program that is responsible for installing package maintainer supplied systemd unit files.

It also finds the service files installed by a package and generates preinst, postinst, and prerm code blocks for enabling, disabling, starting, stopping, and restarting the corresponding systemd services, when the package is installed, updated, or removed. These snippets are added to the maintainer scripts by dh_installdeb(1).

deb-systemd-helper(1) is used to enable and disable systemd units, thus it is not necessary that the machine actually runs systemd during package installation time, enabling happens on all machines in order to be able to switch from sysvinit to systemd and back.

dh_installsystemd operates on all unit files installed by a package. For only generating blocks for specific unit files, pass them as arguments, dh_installsystemd quota.service. Specific unit files can be excluded from processing using the -X common debhelper(1) option.


debian/package.mount, debian/package.path, debian/package@.path, debian/package.service, debian/package@.service, debian/package.socket, debian/package@.socket, debian/package.target, debian/package@.target, debian/package.timer, debian/package@.timer

If any of those files exists, they are installed into lib/systemd/system/ in the package build directory.


Only used in compat 12 or earlier.  In compat 13+, this file is handled by dh_installtmpfiles(1) instead.

If this exists, it is installed into usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/ in the package build directory. Note that the tmpfiles.d mechanism is currently only used by systemd.



Disable the service(s) on purge, but do not enable them on install.

Note that this option does not affect whether the services are started.  Please remember to also use --no-start if the service should not be started.


This option controls several things.

It changes the name that dh_installsystemd uses when it looks for maintainer provided systemd unit files as listed in the "Files" section.  As an example, dh_installsystemd --name foo will look for debian/package.foo.service instead of debian/package.service).  These unit files are installed as name.unit-extension (in the example, it would be installed as foo.service).

Furthermore, if no unit files are passed explicitly as command line arguments, dh_installsystemd will only act on unit files called name (rather than all unit files found in the package).


Do not stop the unit file until after the package upgrade has been completed. This is the default behaviour in compat 10.

In earlier compat levels the default was to stop the unit file in the prerm, and start it again in the postinst.

This can be useful for daemons that should not have a possibly long downtime during upgrade. But you should make sure that the daemon will not get confused by the package being upgraded while it's running before using this option.


Undo a previous --restart-after-upgrade (or the default of compat 10).  If no other options are given, this will cause the service to be stopped in the prerm script and started again in the postinst script.

-r, --no-stop-on-upgrade, --no-restart-on-upgrade

Do not stop service on upgrade. This has the side-effect of not restarting the service as a part of the upgrade.

If you want to restart the service with minimal downtime, please use --restart-after-upgrade (default in compat 10 or later).  If you want the service to be restarted but be stopped during the upgrade, then please use --no-restart-after-upgrade (note the "after-upgrade").

Note that the --no-restart-on-upgrade alias is deprecated and will be removed in compat 14.  This is to avoid confusion with the --no-restart-after-upgrade option.


Do not start the unit file after upgrades and after initial installation (the latter is only relevant for services without a corresponding init script).

Note that this option does not affect whether the services are enabled.  Please remember to also use --no-enable if the services should not be enabled.

unit file ...

Only process and generate maintscripts for the installed unit files with the (base)name unit file.

Note: dh_installsystemd will still install unit files from debian/ but it will not generate any maintscripts for them unless they are explicitly listed in unit file ...


This command is not idempotent. dh_prep(1) should be called between invocations of this command (with the same arguments). Otherwise, it may cause multiple instances of the same text to be added to maintainer scripts.

See Also

debhelper(7), dh_installinit(1), deb-systemd-helper(1)



Referenced By

debhelper(7), dh_installinit(1), dh_installsystemduser(1).

2024-01-24 13.11.6 Debhelper