This question asks: "How to list all enabled services from systemctl?" Answers on that page include:

systemctl list-unit-files | grep enabled
systemctl list-unit-files --state=enabled

At least as of systemd version 229 (on Ubuntu 16.04), systemctl list-unit-files will not include "LSB" services that are launched via legacy init scripts.

Therefore, the original question seems to remain unanswered: Can systemd display a list of ALL the services (and other unit types) that it will try to start at boot, including legacy services?


$ systemctl list-units | grep LSB | grep grub
  grub-common.service    loaded    active exited    LSB: Record successful boot for GRUB

$ systemctl list-unit-files | grep enabled | grep grub || echo 'nothing found'
nothing found

$ systemctl is-enabled grub-common
grub-common.service is not a native service, redirecting to systemd-sysv-install
Executing /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install is-enabled grub-common

systemctl knows about grub-common, and if you ask explicitly systemctl will tell you it is enabled.

So... is there a way to get systemd to display a list of ALL the services it will attempt to run at boot, including legacy scripts?

  • 1
    Does systemctl list-units --type service --all work for you? Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 7:26
  • 3
    Newer versions of systemd may include legacy services in list-unit-files. For example, Debian 9 (Stretch) has systemd version 232. However, I only have one LSB service on that system: raspi-config.service. It is enabled, but its state is generated. It is listed when I run systemctl list-unit-files --state=generated. But now we have a new wrinkle: a service that is-enabled but whose state is not enabled. So it appears there is not a one-to-one mapping between being enabled and having a state of enabled.
    – mpb
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


I believe the command you want is:

systemctl list-units --type service --all

This from my test lists all service even those from legacy boot services.



  • 2
    I believe systemctl list-units --type service --all will list all services, not all enabled services. I just want enabled services, i.e., services that systemd will attempt to start at boot.
    – mpb
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 23:33
  • For me just running this works, and lists all "loaded" services, which AFAICT includes everything it attempted to load at boot time, ref: digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/… maybe it's a version thing...
    – rogerdpack
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 20:15

I believe what you want is

systemctl list-unit-files --type service --state enabled

Use list-unit-files to list installed unit files (not only the ones currently in memory). Some related sections from man page:

  list-units [PATTERN...]             List units currently in memory

  list-unit-files [PATTERN...]        List installed unit files
  is-enabled UNIT...                  Check whether unit files are enabled

-t --type=TYPE         List units of a particular type
   --state=STATE       List units with particular LOAD or SUB or ACTIVE state

-a --all               Show all properties/all units currently in memory,
                       including dead/empty ones. To list all units installed
                       on the system, use 'list-unit-files' instead.

On old versions of systemd this wasn't true:

In really old systemd versions "systemctl list-unit-files" only showed native unit files. In newer versions we also display generated unit files, to make them more discoverable.

I tested each generated services with is-enabled. Some return enabled, some disabled, and some a third state "generated" (which all are). I'm not sure about those.

systemctl is-enabled $(systemctl list-unit-files --type service --state generated | awk '/.*\.service/ {print $1}' | tr '\n' ' ') |& grep "^\w*$" | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn

Related links

  • Thanks for the answer. It's been so long since I asked the question that I may no longer have easy access to a system on which I can test your answer. When I asked the question, I was (probably) running Ubuntu 16.04, but I am now running 20.04 and 21.04, and the grub example in my question no longer works as it did back on 16.04.
    – mpb
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 19:18

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