Check systemd-unit


Checks the state of a service, job, mount etc., using systemctl show.

Simple example: ./systemd-unit --loadstate=loaded --activestate=active --substate=running --unitfilestate=enabled --unit=crond.service is checked against systemctl show -p LoadState,ActiveState,SubState,UnitFileState crond.service.

How do you get an idea what to check for?

  1. Show ALL possible unit files - services, mounts, timers etc.: systemctl list-unit-files --all

  2. Show units, and optionally compare them with another system: systemctl list-units (here you get the states)

  3. If you know what to look for, get the state data for this check: systemctl show -p LoadState,ActiveState,SubState,UnitFileState <service-name>


  • If any of --activestate, --substate or --unitfilestate is ommited, the related unit state value will not be checked (so the check don’t care, just prints).

  • Best practise is to specify --activestate and --substate at least.

  • The unit suffix .service is optional for service units only, but it is - as always - recommended to use it.

Fact Sheet

Check Plugin Download

Check Interval Recommendation

Once a minute

Can be called without parameters


Compiled for



usage: systemd-unit [-h] [-V]
                    [--activestate {activating,active,deactivating,failed,inactive,None}]
                    [--loadstate {activating,active,deactivating,failed,inactive,loaded,maintenance,masked,None,not-found,reloading}]
                    [--severity {warn,crit}]
                    [--substate {abandoned,activating,activating-done,active,auto-restart,cleaning,condition,deactivating,deactivating-sigkill,deactivating-sigterm,dead,elapsed,exited,failed,final-sigkill,final-sigterm,final-watchdog,listening,mounted,mounting,mounting-done,None,plugged,reload,remounting,remounting-sigkill,remounting-sigterm,running,start,start-chown,start-post,start-pre,stop,stop-post,stop-pre,stop-pre-sigkill,stop-pre-sigterm,stop-sigkill,stop-sigterm,stop-watchdog,tentative,unmounting,unmounting-sigkill,unmounting-sigterm,waiting}]
                    --unit UNIT
                    [--unitfilestate {bad,disabled,empty,enabled,enabled-runtime,generated,indirect,linked,linked-runtime,masked,masked-runtime,None,static,transient}]

Checks the state of a service, socket, device, mount, automount, swap, target,
path, timer, slice or scope - using systemd/systemctl. For example, to check
if the service "sshd" is running, use `systemd-unit --substate=running
--unit=sshd`. Have a look at the README for more details.

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -V, --version         show program's version number and exit
  --activestate {activating,active,deactivating,failed,inactive,None}
                        Expected systemd ActiveState (repeating). This is the
                        high-level unit activation state(s), i.e.
                        generalization of SUB. If ommited or set to "None",
                        the unit's active state will not be checked.
  --loadstate {activating,active,deactivating,failed,inactive,loaded,maintenance,masked,None,not-found,reloading}
                        Expected systemd LoadState. Reflects whether the unit
                        definition was properly loaded. If ommited or set to
                        "None", the unit's load state will not be checked.
                        Default: loaded
  --severity {warn,crit}
                        If something was found, the check returns WARN unless
                        set here. Default: warn
  --substate {abandoned,activating,activating-done,active,auto-restart,cleaning,condition,deactivating,deactivating-sigkill,deactivating-sigterm,dead,elapsed,exited,failed,final-sigkill,final-sigterm,final-watchdog,listening,mounted,mounting,mounting-done,None,plugged,reload,remounting,remounting-sigkill,remounting-sigterm,running,start,start-chown,start-post,start-pre,stop,stop-post,stop-pre,stop-pre-sigkill,stop-pre-sigterm,stop-sigkill,stop-sigterm,stop-watchdog,tentative,unmounting,unmounting-sigkill,unmounting-sigterm,waiting}
                        Expected systemd SubState (repeating). This is the
                        low-level unit activation state(s); values depend on
                        unit type. If ommited or set to "None", the unit's
                        substate will not be checked.
  --unit UNIT           The unit name (service, timer, mount etc.). Required.
                        For example "sshd", "sshd.service", "my-samba-
                        mount.mount" etc.
  --unitfilestate {bad,disabled,empty,enabled,enabled-runtime,generated,indirect,linked,linked-runtime,masked,masked-runtime,None,static,transient}
                        Expected systemd UnitFileState. If ommited or set to
                        "None", the unit's unit-file state will not be
                        checked. If "empty", checks exactly for

Usage Examples

  • Does the service exist? (and nothing more!)
    ./systemd-unit --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is the service running?
    ./systemd-unit --substate=running --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is the service disabled?
    ./systemd-unit --unitfilestate=disabled --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is the service stopped and disabled?
    ./systemd-unit --activestate=inactive --substate=dead --unitfilestate=disabled --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is the service exited?
    ./systemd-unit --substate=exited --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is this service with instance name „server“ running?
    ./systemd-unit --substate=running --unit=openvpn-server@server.service
  • Is this service absent/uninstalled?
    ./systemd-unit --loadstate=not-found --unit=firewalld.service
  • Is this path mounted? (Output shown below)
    ./systemd-unit --substate=mounted --unit=mnt-smb.mount
  • Is this device plugged in?
    ./systemd-unit --substate=plugged --unit=sys-devices-virtual-net-tun0.device
  • The current state of a timer job? (has one activestate and two substates)
    ./systemd-unit --activestate=active --substate=waiting --substate=running --unit=myjob.timer
  • Check a service depending on a timer (has two activestates and two substates):
    ./systemd-unit --activestate=active --activestate=inactive --substate=dead --substate=running --unit=myjob.service


firewalld.service - LoadState is "loaded", but should be set to "not-found"


  • WARN if result does not match parameter values.

  • CRIT only if configured as such.

Perfdata / Metrics

There is no perfdata.

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