I am writing a script that prepares my Linux system for benchmarking. Among other things I want to stop all systemd timer units, and revert this action afterwards.

In short, I need the equivalent of service crond stop/start.

All I have found so far is systemctl list-timers and then manually stop each one, and afterwards manually start each. Do you know of any better, more generic solutions?

2 Answers 2


To stop all currently running timers, you can simply use:

systemctl stop '*.timer'

To restart the timers later, you’ll have to remember which ones were running at the time.

timers=$(systemctl list-units --type=timer --state=active --no-legend | awk '{print $1}')
systemctl stop $timers
# ...
systemctl start $timers

(Apparently patterns for units don’t match inactive units, so systemctl start '*.timer' doesn’t work.)

  • 1
    Thanks! For me the wildcard works for stopping all timers, but not for starting them.
    – jimis
    Oct 9, 2018 at 15:57
  • Huh, indeed, I hadn’t tried that out. I’ve updated the answer, thanks! Oct 9, 2018 at 16:03
  • This seems to be the best way currently available, so I'm accepting your answer. Thanks!
    – jimis
    Oct 12, 2018 at 9:36

Good question. I don't see an option for this in man systemctl or man systemd.timer

On a relatively clean system, there are likely only a small number that might run during your benchmark. So after you run the systemctl stop commands the first the time, the next time save your stop/start commands in bash scripts, and just automate the stop/start commands that way.

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