systemd-escape Man page



systemd-escape – Escape strings for usage in system unit names


systemd-escape [OPTIONS…] [STRING…]


systemd-escape may be used to escape strings for inclusion in systemd
unit names. The command may be used to escape and to undo escaping of

The command takes any number of strings on the command line, and will
process them individually, one after another. It will output them
separated by spaces to stdout.

By default, this command will escape the strings passed, unless
–unescape is passed which results in the inverse operation being
applied. If –mangle is given, a special mode of escaping is applied
instead, which assumes the string is already escaped but will escape
everything that appears obviously non-escaped.


The following options are understood:

Appends the specified unit type suffix to the escaped string. Takes
one of the unit types supported by systemd, such as “.service” or
“.mount”. May not be used in conjunction with –template=,
–unescape or –mangle.

Inserts the escaped strings in a unit name template. Takes a unit
name template such as foobar@.service May not be used in
conjunction with –suffix=, –unescape or –mangle.

–path, -p
When escaping or unescaping a string, assume it refers to a file
system path. This enables special processing of the initial “/” of
the path.

Instead of escaping the specified strings, undo the escaping,
reversing the operation. May not be used in conjunction with
–suffix=, –template= or –mangle.

Like –escape, but only escape characters that are obviously not
escaped yet, and possibly automatically append an appropriate unit
type suffix to the string. May not be used in conjunction with
–suffix=, –template= or –unescape.

-h, –help
Print a short help text and exit.

Print a short version string and exit.

Escape a single string:

$ systemd-escape ‘Hallöchen, Meister’

To undo escaping on a single string:

$ systemd-escape -u ‘Hall\xc3\xb6chen\x2c\x20Meister’
Hallöchen, Meister

To generate the mount unit for a path:

$ systemd-escape -p –suffix=mount “/tmp//waldi/foobar/”

To generate instance names of three strings

$ systemd-escape –template=systemd-nspawn@.service ‘My Container 1’ ‘containerb’ ‘container/III’
systemd-nspawn@My\x20Container\x201.service systemd-nspawn@containerb.service systemd-nspawn@container-III.service

On success, 0 is returned, a non-zero failure code otherwise.


systemd, systemctl

systemd 229 SYSTEMD-ESCAPE(1)