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I'm trying to run a systemd timer every minute as a user, but it isn't repeating after the initial trigger. The ffmpeg-timelapse.timer is configured with the OnCalendar=minutely to fire every minute, and the ffmpeg-timelapse.target is WantedBy the dependent services. This allows me to easily add/remove cameras from the timelapse configuration.

The issue I am encountering is when I start the ffmpeg-timelapse.timer unit it will schedule for the next minute, but it will not repeat. The same issue occurs if I start it with the --now argument.

ffmpeg-timelapse.timer

[Unit]
Description=Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every minute

[Timer]
OnCalendar=minutely
Unit=ffmpeg-timelapse.target

[Install]
WantedBy=timers.target

ffmpeg-timelapse.target

[Unit]
Description=Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
StopWhenUnneeded=yes

An example of the service file for a camera.

ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service

[Unit]
Description=Front Yard Timelapse Unit
Wants=ffmpeg-timelapse.timer

[Service]
ExecStart=/bin/bash -ac '. camera01.conf ; exec ffmpeg-timelapse.sh'

[Install]
WantedBy=ffmpeg-timelapse.target

Enabling and starting the service schedules it for the next minute.

$ systemctl --user start ffmpeg-timelapse.timer 
$ systemctl --user list-timers 
NEXT                         LEFT     LAST PASSED UNIT                   ACTIVATES
Sat 2020-06-06 12:08:00 EDT  12s left n/a  n/a    ffmpeg-timelapse.timer ffmpeg-timelapse.target

1 timers listed.
Pass --all to see loaded but inactive timers, too.

However once it runs it does not fire a second time.

$ systemctl --user list-timers 
NEXT LEFT LAST                         PASSED      UNIT                   ACTIVATES
n/a  n/a  Sat 2020-06-06 12:08:42 EDT  1min 2s ago ffmpeg-timelapse.timer ffmpeg-timelapse.target

1 timers listed.
Pass --all to see loaded but inactive timers, too.

The user I am running this as has linger enabled.

$ loginctl show-user timelapse
UID=1000
GID=1000
Name=timelapse
Timestamp=Tue 2020-04-07 16:16:20 EDT
TimestampMonotonic=3291000946930
RuntimePath=/run/user/1000
[email protected]
Slice=user-1000.slice
Display=411982
State=active
Sessions=412092 411982 163185
IdleHint=no
IdleSinceHint=0
IdleSinceHintMonotonic=0
Linger=yes

The status output looks correct to me.

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse.target 
● ffmpeg-timelapse.target - Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse.target; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active since Sat 2020-06-06 10:50:42 EDT; 1h 23min ago

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse.timer 
● ffmpeg-timelapse.timer - Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every 5 minutes
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse.timer; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sat 2020-06-06 12:13:25 EDT; 1min 1s ago

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service 
● ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service - Front Yard Timelapse Unit
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead) since Sat 2020-06-06 12:14:03 EDT; 35s ago
  Process: 4491 ExecStart=/bin/bash -ac '. camera01.conf ; exec ffmpeg-timelapse.sh'
 Main PID: 4491 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

Below is the output of journalctl -xe

Jun 06 12:13:25 srv01 systemd[26482]: Started Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every minute.
-- Subject: Unit UNIT has finished start-up
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: https://www.debian.org/support
-- 
-- Unit UNIT has finished starting up.
-- 
-- The start-up result is done.
Jun 06 12:14:02 srv01 systemd[26482]: Started Front Yard Timelapse Unit.
-- Subject: Unit UNIT has finished start-up
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: https://www.debian.org/support
-- 
-- Unit UNIT has finished starting up.
-- 
-- The start-up result is done.

1 Answer 1

1

I determined the issue by looking at the systemctl --user list-units --all ffmpeg* output. The ffmpeg-timelapse.target was remaining loaded/active/active. Prior to the actual triggered event the ffmpeg-timelapse.timer have the SUB set to waiting.

UNIT                                LOAD   ACTIVE     SUB     JOB   DESCRIPTION                                             
ffmpeg-timelapse.target             loaded active     active  start Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
ffmpeg-timelapse.timer              loaded active     running       Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every minute                

The fault lies in the [Unit] configuration of the ffmpeg-timelapse.target. I needed to add the oneshot configuration to it, otherwise the target unit remained active.

$ cat ffmpeg-timelapse.target
[Unit]
Type=oneshot
Description=Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
StopWhenUnneeded=yes

It's now repeating every minute as expected.

$ systemctl --user list-timers 
NEXT                         LEFT     LAST                         PASSED UNIT                   ACTIVATES
Sat 2020-06-06 12:58:00 EDT  13s left Sat 2020-06-06 12:57:42 EDT  3s ago ffmpeg-timelapse.timer ffmpeg-timelapse.target

This is what the units look like now.

UNIT                                  LOAD   ACTIVE   SUB     DESCRIPTION                                             
ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service loaded inactive dead    Front Yard Timelapse Unit                               
ffmpeg-timelapse.target               loaded inactive dead    Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
ffmpeg-timelapse.timer                loaded active   waiting Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every minute       

Status output for each one.

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse.timer
● ffmpeg-timelapse.timer - Runs ffmpeg timelapse units every minute
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse.timer; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (waiting) since Sat 2020-06-06 12:59:30 EDT; 3min 43s ago

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse.target 
● ffmpeg-timelapse.target - Triggers the individual timelapse units for each camera.
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse.target; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead) since Sat 2020-06-06 13:03:11 EDT; 6s ago

$ systemctl --user status ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service 
● ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service - Front Yard Timelapse Unit
   Loaded: loaded (/home/timelapse/.config/systemd/user/ffmpeg-timelapse01-front-yard.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: inactive (dead) since Sat 2020-06-06 13:03:12 EDT; 8s ago
  Process: 9607 ExecStart=/bin/bash -ac '. camera01.conf ; exec ffmpeg-timelapse.sh'
 Main PID: 9607 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

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