I would like to have a service which behaves differently on first run and on restart of service. Is this possible with systemd? (I use systemd in my embedded os).

I tried with ExecReload and ExecStart, but ExecReload is run only when I use command "systemctl restart". On the other hand ExecStart is run after service Restart ( I have Restart=on-failure and RestartSec=5).


You could use systemctl set-environment to push some values into future runs of the service. For example, with a unit:

ExecStart=/my/command myarg1 ${MYDONE}
ExecStart=/usr/bin/systemctl set-environment MYDONE=1

On the first systemctl start <unit> the last arg passed to /my/command will be '' and MYDONE will not be in the environment. On later starts, the last arg will be 1 and MYDONE=1 will be in the environment.

  • This is good. :) By the way I didn't know that i can specify more than one ExecStart in a .service file. – s.paszko Aug 2 '16 at 12:00
  • 1
    You are only allowed multiple ExecStart if Type=oneshot. But for any type there is also ExecStartPre and ExecStartPost. – meuh Aug 2 '16 at 12:14

You could define the first run in a separate .service file, using


Then create another .service file that depends on that one, which will be the one that runs regularly.

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