deb-systemd-helper Man page

DEB-SYSTEMD-HELPER(1p)User Contributed Perl DocumentatioDEB-SYSTEMD-HELPER(1p)


deb-systemd-helper – subset of systemctl for machines not running


deb-systemd-helper enable | disable | purge | mask | unmask | is-
enabled | was-enabled | debian-installed | update-state | reenable
unit file …


deb-systemd-helper is a Debian-specific helper script which re-
implements the enable, disable, is-enabled and reenable commands from

The “enable” action will only be performed once (when first installing
the package). On the first “enable”, an state file is created which
will be deleted upon “purge”.

The “mask” action will keep state on whether the service was
enabled/disabled before and will properly return to that state on

The “was-enabled” action is not present in systemctl, but is required
in Debian so that we can figure out whether a service was enabled
before we installed an updated service file. See for details.

The “debian-installed” action is also not present in systemctl. It
returns 0 if the state file of at least one of the given units is

The “update-state” action is also not present in systemctl. It updates
deb-systemd-helper’s state file, removing obsolete entries (e.g.
service files that are no longer shipped by the package) and adding new
entries (e.g. new service files shipped by the package) without
enabling them.

deb-systemd-helper is intended to be used from maintscripts to enable
systemd unit files. It is specifically NOT intended to be used
interactively by users. Instead, users should run systemd and use
systemctl, or not bother about the systemd enabled state in case they
are not running systemd.

If you export _DEB_SYSTEMD_HELPER_DEBUG=1, deb-systemd-helper will
print debug messages to stderr (thus visible in dpkg runs). Please
include these when filing a bugreport.


Michael Stapelberg

perl v5.22.1 2016-09-12 DEB-SYSTEMD-HELPER(1p)