I'm using a Raspberry Pi B, with Raspbian. After upgrading to Jessie, watchdog daemon doesn't start at boot anymore. Starting it manually using "sudo service watchdog start" does work. I tried:

  • purging and reinstalling watchdog
  • update-rc.d watchdog defaults && update-rc.d watchdog enable
  • systemctl enable watchdog produces this error:

The unit files have no [Install] section. They are not meant to be enabled using systemctl.

I checked

  • syslog with systemd verbosity on debug, no results. Other than the watchdog device nothing is mentioned.
  • systemctl list-units | grep -i watchdog is emtpy (unless I started it manually)
  • My default runlevel is 5 and the priority of watchdog in /etc/rc5.d/ is also 5.

What else can I try?

2 Answers 2




and add


Systemd needs the [Install]-Section for a Unit to know how it should enable/disable the Unit.


Services installed on the system come with default unit files that are stored in the /usr/lib/systemd/system/ directory. System Administrators should not modify these files directly, therefore any customization must be confined to configuration files in the /etc/systemd/system/ directory.



Just make link for default config /lib/systemd/system/[service name].service to /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/[service name].service, aka:

# ln /lib/systemd/system/watchdog.service /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/watchdog.service

Then reboot system:

# reboot

And check what service starts automatically:

# systemctl status watchdog.service
  • Can you be more specific with your answer? Please don't rely on outer links, as they may be dead any time.
    – user147505
    Sep 23, 2016 at 14:51
  • Thomas, I expanded my answer Sep 23, 2016 at 15:11

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