After spending a few hours trying to get systemd to just keep a simple binary running if it halts, here’s what I’ve learned.

Systemd is a linux service manager. It handles running lots of processes and I wanted it to just run a simple slackbot binary for me. Basically if the bot goes down I want systemd to restart it for me. Since this is a silly thing and doesn’t really need lots of permissions or anything I want it to run for my user on the server and not as root.

First off any user level systemd scripts (called “units”) should be put in ~/.config/systemd/user/. For the slackbot I added a unit called “slackbot.service”.

These units are just text files, for a simple keep-alive script here’s what mine looked like:

Description=Manage SlackBot



Then to load and start the service run

$ systemctl --user start slackbot

If you’d like to check that it was started appropriately

$ systemctl --user status slackbot

To have it run after a reboot you need to enable user lingering. To do this run the following command:

# loginctl enable-linger <username>

Then you need to enable the unit using systemd.

$ systemctl --user enable slackbot

That should output something like

Created symlink from ~/.config/systemd/user/ to ~/.config/systemd/user/slackbot.service.

Here’s a helpful resource. Memory dump complete.