I get this error when running any systemd command as a user:

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ systemctl --user list-units
Failed to get D-Bus connection: Connection refused

Without the user parameter, the command runs fine.

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ systemctl list-units
  UNIT                                                                 LOAD   ACTIVE SUB       DESCRIPTION
  proc-sys-fs-binfmt_misc.automount                                    loaded active waiting   Arbitrary Executable File Formats File System Automount Point
  sys-devices-platform-soc-3f201000.serial-tty-ttyAMA0-hci0-rfkill1.device loaded active plugged   /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f201000.serial/tty/ttyAMA0/hci0/rfkil
  sys-devices-platform-soc-3f201000.serial-tty-ttyAMA0-hci0.device     loaded active plugged   /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f201000.serial/tty/ttyAMA0/hci0
  To show all installed unit files use 'systemctl list-unit-files'.
  lines 102-129/129 (END)

And Dbus is running.

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ ps -ef | grep dbus
message+   443     1  0 Jan06 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --system --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation
admin     9082  9040  0 11:42 pts/0    00:00:00 grep --color=auto dbus

Systemd does not appear to be running for this user

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ ps -ef | grep systemd
root       142     1  0 Jan06 ?        00:00:08 /lib/systemd/systemd-journald
root       147     1  0 Jan06 ?        00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd
message+   443     1  0 Jan06 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --system --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation
root       520     1  0 Jan06 ?        00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-logind
admin    10255  9040  0 16:53 pts/0    00:00:00 grep --color=auto systemd

I don't know how to get it running though.

This seems not normal either:

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ systemd --test
Trying to run as user instance, but $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR is not set.
  • 1
    Do you have a dbus instance running for your own user? And most important do you have a systemd instance running for your user? – Bigon Jan 7 '18 at 12:05
  • Sadly this is disabled for RHEL/CentOS 7 bugs.centos.org/view.php?id=8767 – nodakai Jul 4 '18 at 3:46

Looks like a package went missing:

admin@Xroklaus:~ $ sudo apt-get install libpam-systemd

And after a reboot it works again.

  • Reboot required for me (Raspbian). Thanks for this tip. – Matt Jan 26 '19 at 18:26

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