I am trying to make a systemd service file to run a python script to print something using thermal printer. escpos is the library I am using to access the control of thermal printer. However escpos require sudo to access the usb device.


How to make a systemd service file such that the exec command get the root access? Base on some answer on internet, if I don't set anything to User, the default exec should get root access automatically. But I still getting trouble to make my program run. Hope anyone can help me to spot my mistake.



File: /usr/local/etc/test/testPrint.py

from escpos.printer import Usb
#require escpos use "pip install python-escpos" to install the library
""" Seiko Epson Corp. Receipt Printer (EPSON TM-T88III) """
p = Usb(0x4b43, 0x3538, 0, 0x82, 0x02)
p.text("Hello World\n")

I can run sudo python3 /usr/local/etc/test/testPrint.py and print the text from the thermal printer without any problem.

Service File

File: /etc/systemd/system/testPrint.service

Description=Test Python escpos print
ExecStart=/usr/bin/python3 /usr/local/etc/test/testPrint.py

And when I try to run the command sudo systemctl start testPrint.service. It gives error

Error log

Command: sudo journalctl -u testPrint.service:

python3.5[27149]: Traceback (most recent call last):
python3.5[27149]:   File "/usr/local/etc/test/testPrint.py", 
python3.5[27149]:     from escpos.printer import Usb
python3.5[27149]: ImportError: No module named 'escpos'
systemd[1]: testPrint.service: Main process exited, code=exit
systemd[1]: Failed to start Test python escpos print.
systemd[1]: testPrint.service: Unit entered failed state.
systemd[1]: testPrint.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'

Which is the same error, if I run python without sudo "python3 printTest.py"


Just to give out some extra info. I use sudo pip3 install python-escpos to install the module. My OS is Ubuntu 16.04

  • 2
    How did you install escpos? sudo pip3 install escpos or pip3 install escpos? Or was this in a virtualenv you used for escpos? Because you need the module installed systemwide with sudo pip3 install for it to be able to use escpos.
    – Thomas Ward
    Nov 19, 2018 at 14:16
  • I use sudo pip3 install python-escpos to install the library
    – Wan Chap
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:26
  • 2
    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Please don’t put the solution into the question. Use the answer field below instead. askubuntu.com/help/self-answer Also don’t add “SOLVED” to the title. In order to mark your question solved in the right way, you may accept the answer (by clicking on the tick mark (✓) next to it) that helped you. In case the helpful answer was posted by you, you'll have to wait 2 days before being able to accept it.
    – Melebius
    Nov 22, 2018 at 9:12
  • Thanks for the tips, I am still learning to be a part of AskUbuntu community.
    – Wan Chap
    Nov 22, 2018 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


I have solved the problem.

This bug is not caused by root permission, but rather the escpos module are not install correctly under root user. After I reinstall the escpos by sudo pip3 install python-escpos all codes work accordingly and is able to print the text.

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