I want to delay start an service on boot. Ubuntu Server 15.10

I've created the file /startup-tvheadend.sh (chmod +x)

sleep 20 && service tvheadend start;

Then in crontab -e

@reboot /startup-tvheadend.sh

Running the script as sudo works but not when I reboot the computer. I've disabled the default auto start after installation.

kidkic@TvHeadEnd:~$ systemctl status tvheadend
● tvheadend.service - (null)
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/tvheadend)
   Active: inactive (dead)
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  • Does the service start automatically? edit your post to add the output of systemctl status tvheadend.
    – muru
    Dec 20, 2015 at 13:10
  • Could this be a simple case of relative pathnames? In particular, service is in /usr/sbin/ and start is in /sbin - which IIRC are not in cron's default path Dec 20, 2015 at 14:00
  • Shouldn't you also be using systemctl start tvheadend?
    – s3lph
    Dec 20, 2015 at 14:27
  • Yeay. the_Seppi, that did the trick!
    – roady
    Dec 20, 2015 at 16:04
  • @the_Seppi you could post that as an answer.
    – muru
    Dec 20, 2015 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


As you are using systemctl status tvheadend, I guess you should also use systemd's systemctl instead of upstart's service command to start this service:

sleep 20 && systemctl start tvheadend;

It's simpler to add a sleep to the systemd configuration file. For example, to delay the bind9 start, we can edit (On Ubuntu 16.04) /lib/systemd/system/bind9.service and add a ExecStarPre command. (See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/understanding-systemd-units-and-unit-files )

ExecStartPre=-/bin/sleep 5

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