I have a timer/service unit-set that should run once a day under --user conditions. It shows up with systemctl --user status and gets logged in journal but there is a part of the command that fails.

It seems that something in the command is not being interpreted correctly. I want to futz with the unit file and run the service, examine the log, etc to debug the issue; however editing the timer to trigger a minute in the future, waiting, and checking the log is... tedious.

Can do something like systemctl --user execute xxxxxx.service to just run the dang thing as if the timer triggered?


You can activate any unit manually, unless it contains a RefuseManualStart=yes and/or RefuseManualStop=yes directive (which do exactly what they say). Just issue systemctl --user start <whatever> (and systemctl --user stop <whatever> to do the opposite).

To quote systemctl(1):

start PATTERN...

Start (activate) one or more units specified on the command line.


stop PATTERN...

Stop (deactivate) one or more units specified on the command line.

  • Not working here: Failed to restart {foo}.service: Operation refused, unit {foo}.service may be requested by dependency only. – eMPee584 Jul 9 at 18:01
  • 1
    @eMPee584 Since this answer was written, systemd gained new directives RefuseManualStart= and RefuseManualStop= (which do exactly what they say). I've updated my answer to mention that. – intelfx Jul 29 at 3:13

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