dh_installsystemd - Linux


dh_installsystemd is a helper script for Debian packages, that automatically creates a systemd service for the package. It is part of the debhelper package.


dh_installsystemd [-C|--copyright] [-h|--help] [-v|--version] [-i|--local|--local-INI] [-m|--man]
  [-s|--systemd-script|--script=PATH] [-c|--config|--conf=FILE]
  [-u|--unit] [-U|--no-unit] [-X|--no-symlink] [-Y|--no-depend] [-r|--reload] [-a|--action]
  [--mangle=PACKAGE] [--regex=REGEX] [--] [SERVICE...]


  • -i, --local|--local-INI: Use the INI format file.
  • -m, --man: Generate man pages using man2html.
  • -W, --update-initramfs|--install-update-initramfs|--initramfs-install-update: Update the initramfs when the package is updated.
  • -s, --systemd-script|--script=PATH: Use the specified systemd script.
  • -c, --config|--conf=FILE: Use the specified configuration file. Defaults to debian/SYSTEMD.conf if it exists, or /usr/share/systemd/debian/default.conf.
  • -u, --unit: Install a systemd unit for the service.
  • -U, --no-unit: Do not install a systemd unit for the service.
  • -X, --no-symlink: Do not create a symlink to the service file.
  • -Y, --no-depend: Do not create a dependency on the service.
  • -r, --reload: Reload the systemd manager.
  • -a, --action: Do not invoke systemd.


To create a systemd service for the foo package:

dh_installsystemd foo

To create a systemd service and use a custom script:

dh_installsystemd -s /path/to/my_systemd_script.conf foo

Common Issues

  • If the systemd service fails to start, check the journalctl logs for errors.
  • If the systemd service is not recognized, make sure the package is installed and the service is enabled.
  • If the dh_installsystemd script exits with an error, check the output for more information.


dh_installsystemd can be used with other debhelper scripts to create more complex packages. For example, it can be used with dh_systemd_enable to automatically enable the service at boot time.

Related Commands

  • make-systemd-unit-files
  • systemd
  • debhelper