I have the following below code of systemd.

Description=start RCC logger server process
Requires=rcc-drbd.service rcc_check_locked_scr.service s96rcc.service
After=rcc-drbd.service rcc_check_locked_scr.service s96rcc.service

ExecStart= exec /var/RCC/RCClogger.sh


where i try to run it, i get the below error.

Mar 23 04:45:52 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: 
[/etc/systemd/system/rcc_logger.service:7] Executable path is not absolute, 
ignoring: exec /v...ogger.sh
Mar 23 04:45:52 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: rcc_logger.service lacks 
both ExecStart= and ExecStop= setting. Refusing.

I know it is because of no absolute path of exec command, but since exec is not available as binary i cannot use absolute path for it. How to make this ExecStart run?

  • 4
    remove exec, it isn't required (script should contain hashbang to invoke shell)
    – sebasth
    Aug 7, 2017 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


You can't use exec in a systemd service unit configuration.
exec is a shell built-in and cannot be called directly from the filesystem (it doesn't reside on the filesystem) -- type exec and whereis exec will show you that.
Use the shell they're written in.

For example, if it's a bash script, you can run the script like this:

bash /var/RCC/RCClogger.sh

Now, bash is an executable and does have an absolute path: /bin/bash. Your ExecStart will look like the following:

ExecStart=/bin/bash /var/RCC/RCClogger.sh

Another way is to simply add a shebang to the beginning of the script:

... script code ...

This tells the operating system to run the file with the specified interpreter, /bin/bash in this case.

After that simply make your script executable:

chmod +x /var/RCC/RCClogger.sh

And use it directly as the ExecStart:

  • @KamilMaciorowski you're right about my choice of wording, fixed.
    – Fanatique
    Sep 14, 2018 at 12:31
  • This is a fantastic answer. Its instructional as well as accurate. Solved my issue. Thank you @Fanatique May 10, 2020 at 12:01

The "EXecStart=" needs an absolute path to start the service. Get the full path to your .sh file and append it to ExecStart statement.

Again "manpage" will give you detailed info.


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