I have a Debian stretch on RPI. I need to start a custom service on boot up.


Service is enabled, but shows up as inactive

lora-packet-forwarder.service - LoRa Packet Forwarder
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lora-packet-forwarder.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead)


sudo journalctl -f -u lora-packet-forwarder.service 

-- shows up nothing

If I start it manually from console, it works fine:

sudo systemctl start lora-packet-forwarder.service

lora-packet-forwarder.service - LoRa Packet Forwarder
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lora-packet-forwarder.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2019-07-05 15:01:48 BST; 3s ago
  Process: 554 ExecStartPre=/home/pi/lora_gateway/reset_lgw.sh start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 570 (lora_pkt_fwd)
   Memory: 568.0K
   CGroup: /system.slice/lora-packet-forwarder.service
           └─570 /home/pi/packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/lora_pkt_fwd

Jul 05 15:01:47 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Starting LoRa Packet Forwarder...
Jul 05 15:01:47 raspberrypi reset_lgw.sh[554]: Accessing concentrator reset pin through GPIO25...
Jul 05 15:01:48 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Started LoRa Packet Forwarder.

Here are the contents of the service file:

Description=LoRa Packet Forwarder

ExecStartPre=/home/pi/packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/reset_lgw.sh start


I have a small shell script to reset the GPIO pin, before the lora_pkt_fwd is launched. Here are the permissions for both files:

-rwxr-xr-x 1 pi pi  1485 Jul  3 21:38 reset_lgw.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 pi pi 144680 Jul  3 20:17 lora_pkt_fwd

Regarding the settings, have tried already:

  1. put "bash" for shell script - ExecStartPre=bash /home/pi/packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/reset_lgw.sh start
  2. Tried combinations of After=network.target, Before=network-online.target, Wants=network-online.target in [Unit] section
  3. Tried Type=simple and forking in [Service] section
  4. Tries disable/enable the service and daemon-reload (just in case)

I could get this done with cron task or something , but I want to do it right.

  • Did you run systemctl enable lora-packet-forwarder.service?
    – derobert
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 15:01
  • 1
    I'm 99% guessing that the service has a dependency that hasn't yet been fulfilled during boot but is fulfilled after boot.
    – user2267
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 19:39
  • derobert, yes I did already
    – Sergi
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 1:23
  • @barrycarter, exactly, that's why (I assume) I tried these params "After=network.target, Before=network-online.target, Wants=network-online.target " hoping that service might be failing due to absence of the network connection. I wonder if there is a debug switch so I can get a more verbose reason/log?
    – Sergi
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 1:28
  • Please include the output of systemctl status lora-packet-forwarder.service right after bootup, once systemctl list-jobs is already empty. Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Anyone looking here for the correct file, here is mine working.

Description=Packet forwarder for LORA-Helium  

ExecStartPre=bash /home/pi/sx1302_hal/packet_forwarder/reset_lgw.sh start  
ExecStart=/home/pi/sx1302_hal/packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd -c  /home/pi/sx1302_hal/packet_forwarder/global_conf.json  


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