I am trying to follow this guide to install and setup blackbox_exporter: https://devconnected.com/how-to-install-and-configure-blackbox-exporter-for-prometheus/

I have followed everything and can manually run the command from the systemd service and get it to run.

However when I try to run systemctl start blackbox.service and then check the status, it fails with exit code 203/EXEC

I check the permissions on /usr/local/bin/blackbox_exporter:

-rwxr-xr-x. 1 blackbox blackbox 17050332 Nov 11 10:27 /usr/local/bin/blackbox_exporter

I can run the command from terminal as such just fine:

/usr/local/bin/blackbox_exporter --config.file=/etc/blackbox/blackbox.yml --web.listen-address=:9115

Here is my systemd service:

Description=Blackbox Exporter Service

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/blackbox_exporter \
  --config.file=/etc/blackbox/blackbox.yml \



Logs from journalctl -u blackbox.service:

Apr 30 08:26:55 localhost systemd[1]: Started Blackbox Exporter Service.
Apr 30 08:26:55 localhost systemd[1]: blackbox.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=203/EXEC
Apr 30 08:26:55 localhost systemd[1]: blackbox.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.

I am using CentOS 8.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • can the blackbox user execute /usr/local/bin/blackbox_exporter?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 13:50
  • @JeffSchaller yes it can. Same result as when root runs it. It works fine. The only issue seems to be systemd. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 15:13
  • Thought I'd try the easy answer --"The actual process execution failed (specifically, the execve(2) system call". Most likely this is caused by a missing or non-accessible executable file); I now wonder if SELinux is catching it.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 15:19
  • @JeffSchaller great call out! It was SELinux. If you want to make this a comment I will accept it as a resolution! Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Since you were able to run the command interactively but not independently through systemd, it's possible that SELinux is picking up a different context and disallowing the execution. Depending on the actual intervention by SELinux, you could use ideas from Why do selinux policies apply to commands (e.g: logrotate) running from cronjobs, but not when run directly from command line? to accomodate the situation.

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