Linux | Systemd units

Systemd is a suite of basic building blocks for a Linux system. It provides a system and service
manager that runs as PID 1 and starts the rest of the system.

The Netdata Agent monitors the systemd swap units state. The systemd_swap_units_state alert indicates that one or more of the systemd swap units are in the failed state. A systemd swap unit “failed” when the service process returned error code on exit, or crashed, an operation timed out, or after too many restarts. The cause of a failed states is stored in a log.

Read more about systemd

Here is some useful information about systemd from wikipedia 1

Systemd includes features like on-demand starting of daemons, snapshot support, process tracking, and Inhibitor Locks. Systemd is not just the name of the init daemon, but also refers to the entire software bundle around it, which, in addition to the systemd init daemon, includes the daemons journald, logind and networkd, and many other low-level components. In January 2013, Poettering described systemd not as one program, but rather a large software suite that includes 69 individual binaries. As an integrated software suite, systemd replaces the startup sequences and runlevels controlled by the traditional init daemon, along with the shell scripts executed under its control. systemd also integrates many other services that are common on Linux systems by handling user logins, the system console, device hotplugging, scheduled execution (replacing cron), logging, hostnames and locales.

Like the init daemon, systemd is a daemon that manages other daemons, which, including systemd itself, are background processes. systemd is the first daemon to start during booting and the last daemon to terminate during shutdown. The systemd daemon serves as the root of the user space’s process tree. The first process (PID1) has a special role on Unix systems, as it replaces the parent of a process when the original parent terminates. Therefore, the first process is particularly well suited for the purpose of monitoring daemons.

Systemd executes elements of its startup sequence in parallel, which is theoretically faster than the traditional startup sequence approach. For inter-process communication (IPC), systemd makes Unix domain sockets and D-Bus available to the running daemons. The state of systemd itself can also be preserved in a snapshot for future recall.

Systemd’s core components include the following:

  • systemd is a system and service manager for Linux operating systems.

  • systemctl is a command to introspect and control the state of the systemd system and service
    manager. Not to be confused with sysctl.

  • systemd-analyze may be used to determine system boot-up performance statistics and retrieve
    other state and tracing information from the system and service manager.

See more on systemd-swap The following text originates from the systemd.swap man page.[2](

A unit configuration file whose name ends in .swap encodes information about a swap device or file for memory paging controlled and supervised by systemd. Swap units must be named after the devices or files they control. For instance, the swap device /dev/sda5 must be configured in a unit filedev-sda5.swap. Note that swap units cannot be templated, nor is possible to add multiple names to a swap unit by creating additional symlinks to it.

Swap units may either be configured via unit files, or via /etc/fstab (see man fstab(5) for details). Swaps listed in /etc/fstab will be converted into native units dynamically at boot and when the configuration of the system manager is reloaded. See man systemd-fstab-generator for details about the conversion. If a swap device or file is configured in both /etc/fstab and a unit file, the configuration in the latter takes precedence. When reading /etc/fstab, a few special options are understood by systemd which influence how dependencies are created for swap units. With noauto, the swap unit will not be added as a dependency for This means that it will not be activated automatically during boot, unless it is pulled in by some other unit. The auto option has the opposite meaning and is the default. With nofail, the swap unit will be only wanted, not required by This means that the boot will continue even if this swap device is not activated successfully.

References and source
  1. Systemd on Wikipedia
  2. Man page for systemd.swap

Troubleshooting section:

General approach

Check the log messages for failing reasons:

root@netdata # journalctl -xe | grep -A 5 -B 5 swap
Check your fstab for errors

Open the fstab config file and verify the syntax of the fstab entries with TYPE=swap are correct.

root@netdata # vim /etc/fstab
Consult the [man pages of fstab]( for