Im trying to start a linux service, however im getting the below issue when im trying to start the service. Please help with a solution of how to fix this issue

The user Test_user is set with ALL=(ALL) ALL in sudoers file

Nov 17 11:20:24 systemd[1]: Starting wso2am-4.2.0.service... 
Nov 17 11:20:24 wso2am-4.1.0[171210]: Starting the WSO2 Server ... 
Nov 17 11:20:24 su[171211]: pam_unix(su:auth): auth could not identify
password for [Test_user] Nov 17 11:20:26 su[171211]: FAILED SU (to
Test_user) root on none Nov 17 11:20:27 wso2am-4.1.0[171210]:
Password: Password: su: Authentication failure Nov 17 11:20:27
systemd[1]: wso2am-4.2.0.service: Control process exited, code=exited
status=1 Nov 17 11:20:27  systemd[1]: wso2am-4.2.0.service: Failed
with result 'exit-code'.

The script contains:

#! /bin/sh 
export JAVA_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-"
startcmd='/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh start > /dev/null &'
restartcmd='/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh restart > /dev/null &' 
stopcmd='/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh stop > /dev/null &'

case "$1" in 
        echo "Starting the WSO2 Server ..."    
        su -c "${startcmd}" Test_user 
        echo "Re-starting the WSO2 Server ..."    
        su -c "${restartcmd}" Test_user 
        echo "Stopping the WSO2 Server ..."    
        su -c "${stopcmd}" Test_user 
        echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}" 
        exit 1 
  • Are you using sudo from within the service?
    – Stewart
    Nov 21 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


I suspect you have something like this:

Description="WS02 Server"

ExecStart=sudo /usr/local/bin/wso2am-4.1.0

There are a few things wrong with this:

  1. sudo is meant to be interactive. It is intended to verify that you're a person, and not a script.
  2. You are setting User=, but then using sudo to change that to root, undoing the User= part of it.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Simple, but not graceful: Add :NOPASSWD to /etc/sudoers. I don't recommend this because you're going against sudo's design
  1. Do not set User=. In my assumption above, you are using Test_user, but immediately switching back to root with sudo. Test_user isn't running that process anymore. In this case, there is no point in Test_user and you're better off with:
  1. I think it's more likely that my assumption above is wrong and you're only trying to elevate something specific. Maybe you call a script as Test_user and then only one small command in that script needs to be elevated. In that case, pull it out and give it elevated privileges in ExecStartPre= with the + prefix:
| Service                      | Script                     |
| [Service]                    | #!/bin/bash                |
| User=Test_user               | sudo wso2am-4.1.0 update   |
| ExecStart=/path/to/script    | wso2am-4.1.0 run           |


ExecStartPre=+/usr/bin/wso2am4.1.0 update
ExecStart=/usr/bin/wso2am4.1.0 run
  • i have added service script in question.. i had configured same way as provided in wso2 documentation but im still getting the same error. also have set Test_user ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL.. but still same
    – Chinnu
    Dec 1 at 5:46
  • item #3 applies to you. See my tailored answer.
    – Stewart
    Dec 1 at 11:00

My other answer is appropriate in a general case where you could have sudo or su in your script. You've added details of what the script actually has, so here is a more tailored answer:

The script you have added only does a few things:

  1. Sets $JAVA_HOME
  2. Forwards start, stop, restart commands to an apt-manager.sh as a specific user
  3. Logs what it's doing.

This looks like it was made to run with an older init system, but this isn't necessary anymore with systemd. It lets you set your environment (export), and handles log (echo), user (su), start/stop/restart (case), silencing (>/dev/null) and forking (&) for you in the service file directly. Forget about that script and make a service that does the same thing, but properly.

ExecStart=/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh start
ExecStop=/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh stop

The only difference is systemctl restart will run the ExecStop= then ExecStart=. There is no ExecRestart= so I haven't added it to your service. If apt-manager.sh restart reloads its configuration instead of a simple stop/start, then you can add ExecReload=/var/wso2am-4.1.0/bin/api-manager.sh restart.

Depending on what's in api-manager.sh, you might also be able to remove that script and simply start whatever process it launches itself. You can probably remove that too, and run as a Type=simple service.

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