SysVinit to Systemd Cheatsheet

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This is a document to help system administrators who need to understand what commands in systemd replace their old workflow in SysVinit.


SystemVinit Command Systemd Command Notes
ls -al /etc/rc.d/init.d systemctl --all Used to list the services that can be started or stopped
chkconfig httpd --list Used to list what levels this service is configured on or off
chkconfig httpd --level 345 on Turn the service on for the next reboot
chkconfig httpd --level 345 off Turn the service off for the next reboot
service httpd start systemctl start httpd.service OR service httpd start Used to start a service (not reboot persistent)
service httpd stop systemctl stop httpd.service OR service httpd stop Used to stop a service (not reboot persistent)
service httpd restart systemctl restart httpd.service OR service httpd restart Used to stop and then start a service
service httpd reload systemctl reload httpd.service OR service httpd reload When supported, reloads the config file without interrupting pending operations.
service httpd condrestart systemctl reload-or-restart httpd.service OR systemctl condrestart httpd.service OR service httpd condrestart when supported restarts if the service is already running.
telinit 3 systemctl isolate OR telinit 3 Change to multi-user run level. See also: Runlevels
sed s/^id:.*:initdefault:/id:3:initdefault:/ ln -sf /lib/systemd/systemd/ /etc/systemd/system/ Set to use multi-user runlevel on next reboot. See also: Runlevels


runlevels are used with telinit and on the kernel command line in SystemVinit. These traditional ways of switching runlevels still work with systemd, but additionally, the following can be used instead.

SystemVinit Runlevel Systemd Target Notes
0 Halt the system.
1, s, single, emergency Single user mode.
2, 4 User/sites may define runlevels with sets of packages for these.
3, Multi-user, non-graphical. Users can usually login via multiple consoles or via the network.
5, Multi-user, graphical. Usually has all the services of runlevel 3 plus a graphical login.
6 Reboot