systemd.target — Target unit configuration
A unit configuration file whose name ends in "
.target" encodes information about a
target unit of systemd. Target units are used to group units and to set synchronization points for
ordering dependencies with other unit files.
This unit type has no specific options. See systemd.unit(5) for the common options of all unit configuration files. The common configuration items are configured in the generic [Unit] and [Install] sections. A separate [Target] section does not exist, since no target-specific options may be configured.
Target units do not offer any additional functionality on top of the generic functionality provided
by units. They merely group units, allowing a single target name to be used in
Requires= settings to establish a dependency on a set of units defined by the
target, and in
After= settings to establish ordering.
Targets establish standardized names for synchronization points during boot and shutdown. Importantly,
for examples and descriptions of standard systemd targets.
Target units provide a more flexible replacement for SysV runlevels in the classic SysV init
system. For compatibility reasons special target units such as
exist which are used by the SysV runlevel compatibility code in systemd, see
Note that a target unit file must not be empty, lest it be considered a masked unit. It is
recommended to provide a [Unit] section which includes informative
There are no implicit dependencies for target units.
The following dependencies are added unless
DefaultDependencies=no is set:
Target units will automatically complement all configured dependencies of type
Requires= with dependencies of type
DefaultDependencies=no is set in the specified
Note that the reverse is not true. For example, defining
some.service will not automatically add the
After=that.target ordering dependency for
some.service should use the primary synchronization function of target
type units, by setting a specific
Before=that.target ordering dependency in its .service unit file.
Target units automatically gain
Before= dependencies against
Target unit files may include [Unit] and [Install] sections, which are described in systemd.unit(5). No options specific to this file type are supported.
Example 1. Simple standalone target
# emergency-net.target [Unit] Description=Emergency Mode with Networking Requires=emergency.target systemd-networkd.service After=emergency.target systemd-networkd.service AllowIsolate=yes
When adding dependencies to other units, it's important to check if they set
DefaultDependencies=. Service units, unless they set
DefaultDependencies=no, automatically get a dependency on
sysinit.target. In this case, both
DefaultDependencies=no, so they are suitable for use
in this target, and do not pull in
You can now switch into this emergency mode by running
isolate emergency-net.target or by passing the option
systemd.unit=emergency-net.target on the kernel command
Other units can have
WantedBy=emergency-net.target in the
[Install] section. After they are enabled using
systemctl enable, they will be started before
emergency-net.target is started. It is also possible to add
arbitrary units as dependencies of
modifying them by using systemctl add-wants.