systemd ships the systemd-analyze command which has a verify function that allows you to check the syntax of a systemd unit file.

However, when I ran it today using systemd v238, I get a message back that a disk file system was attmpted to be deleted. What's going on?

$ sudo systemd-analyze verify /etc/systemd/system/my.timer
Attempted to remove disk file system, and we can't allow that

1 Answer 1


This behavior is due to a bug in at least systemd 237 and 238.

From the bug report:

systemd-analyze creates a directory named /tmp/systemd-temporary-XXXX. /tmp is a real, physical directory on my machine

when rm_rf_children is called, for manager cleanup, it has a safety that prevents it from removing physical files unless explicitely told to do so.

While the diagnostic message is scary, it is thankfully about a temporary directory, not telling you that it tried to do rm -rf /.

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