Colored dot

I was mainly looking for a way to show what cause my system to slow up booting, and then came up across this. Now I'm curious to know what it means.

  • You might find systemd-analyze blame to be more useful if you are investigating a slow boot. But for a snapshot of the current situation, systemctl list-dependencies is fine. Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


From the systemctl man page.

The dot ("●") uses color on supported terminals to summarize the unit state at a glance. Along with its color, its shape varies according to its state: "inactive" or "maintenance" is a white circle ("○"), "active" is a green dot ("●"), "deactivating" is a white dot, "failed" or "error" is a red cross ("×"), and "reloading" is a green clockwise circle arrow ("↻").

  • I then imagine red dot is the same as red cross. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 12:42
  • is there any flag to request a text description of the unit state in the systemctl list-units output? Running sed to convert a bunch of ansi color codes into text seems... silly. Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 20:49
  • re my own question in the comments: --plain omits the non-ascii characters from the output, nice. however the information about state and dependency tree appears to also be removed. Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 21:01

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