[arch-general] changing default target to multi-user when no X - any benefit?

Rodrigo Rivas rodrigorivascosta at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 17:14:57 EST 2013

On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 5:10 AM, David C. Rankin <
drankinatty at suddenlinkmail.com> wrote:

> Guys,
>   After fresh install and rebuild of an Arch server with systemd, would it
> make
> any difference to change the systemd default target to multi-user? There
> is no
> X, so I'm not sure what difference, if any, it would make, or if it is
> simply
> semantics at that point. Looking, all I have under systemd/system is
> multi-user.target.wants and getty.target.wants. Does having the systemd
> default
> target set to graphical in this case do anything that wouldn't be done if
> the
> default were changed to multi-user?
>   Here it just looks like the old case where you have 'id:5:initdefault:'
> in
> inittab, but no X, so the system just looks for some gui displaymanager to
> load,
> doesn't find it, and drops to console. The wiki
> [[Systemd#Change_current_target]] discussed changing the default, but does
> not
> explain what is being done besides changing a symlink to
> /etc/systemd/system/default.target. Being new to systemd on Arch, I just
> want to
> make sure I am not biting myself by leaving the default as graphical when
> in
> fact I'm just booting into multi-user. What say the experts?
> --
> David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.

Hi! I'm in no way an expert in systemd, but I've been using it for some
time now.

To see what graphical.target is bringing up, you can run the following

    $ systemctl show graphical.target --property=Wants

Which in my system give the following list (pretty printed):


Of these, "display-manager" does not exist (!), "colord" and "gdm" are
pretty obviously graphical stuff; "upower" and "rtkit-daemon" are possibly
useful outside of X, but reasonably disabled by default; "accounts-daemon"
is mostly useless in any system, IMHO.

And the "systemd-readahead-*" services are bound to whatever the
"default.target" is (WantedBy=default.target) although systemctl reports it
as WantedBy graphical.target (my default is graphical, of course!).

So just run through your graphical.target dependencies and see if you will
miss something. If you do, you can drop a symlink into
/etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants and you will have it for free.


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