[systemd-devel] User configs, BTRFS subvolume for /home and automatic service start during boot?

Thorsten Schöning tschoening at am-soft.de
Thu May 3 19:07:49 UTC 2018

Hi all,

I'm using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server with BTRFS, which created one
subvolume for / and another one for /home. While I do like this setup,
it makes me trouble with how I deploy our own software developed for
various customers. For many reasons that software is stored under
/home[/tenant1|tenant2|...] currently, including systemd service files
nowadays. The good thing is that enabling those files is as easy as

> systemctl enable ...

with the absolute path. The bad thing is that because /home is another
file system, during boot systemd can't find my service files and
therefore can't start my services[1].

I'm looking for alternatives[2] now and thought of user configs. The
good thing is that my service files seem to be properly available to
systemd if I login e.g. using SSH, the status of the service is loaded
and I'm able to start it manually. But I have trouble getting systemd
to automatically start the service during boot and even during SSH

I'm pretty sure to already have use the suggested "loginctl enable-linger ...",
but might have some error somewhere of course. But it might as well be
that the subvolume /home itself is making trouble here again. In the
end, there's the following sentence in the docs which doesn't
distinguish between system wide and user configs:

> The file system where the linked unit files are located must be
> accessible when systemd is started (e.g. anything underneath /home
> or /var is not allowed, unless those directories are located on the
> root file system).

So, are user configs for systemd supported to be placed on a non-root
file system AND be started during boot time? I don't have any users
logging in in the end.


[1]: https://serverfault.com/questions/910173/why-cant-systemd-find-service-files-within-a-btrfs-subvolume-within-a-btrfs-roo
[2]: https://serverfault.com/questions/910274/how-to-make-initrd-of-ubuntu-16-04-mount-home-automatically-in-addition-to

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Thorsten Schöning

Thorsten Schöning       E-Mail: Thorsten.Schoening at AM-SoFT.de
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