I'd like to startup an Apache Spark cluster after boot using the following command:

sudo ./path/to/spark/sbin/start-all.sh

Then run this command when the system prepares to reboot/shutdown:

sudo ./path/to/spark/sbin/stop-all.sh

How can I get started? Is there a basic template I can build on?

I've tried to use an extremely simple (file: /lib/systemd/system/spark.service):

Description=Spark service

ExecStart=sudo ./path/to/spark/sbin/start-all.sh

Which doesn't work.

  • Have a look at: wiki.ubuntu.com/SystemdForUpstartUsers
    – user680858
    May 26, 2017 at 9:03
  • 1
    Hi @WillemK, I had looked at this page already. This issue I found is I can't just replace exec with ExecStart=. Plus, I haven't used upstart before. May 26, 2017 at 9:07
  • 2
    The dot before the path of your script looks extremely suspicious. May 26, 2017 at 9:09
  • @AndreaLazzarotto I think OP is trying to run the script the way OP would in the terminal hence the .... May 26, 2017 at 9:25
  • Hi @AndreaLazzarotto, this is correct. Apologies for any confusion caused. May 26, 2017 at 10:28

3 Answers 3


Your .service file should look like this:

Description=Spark service



Now, take a few more steps to enable and use the .service file:

  1. Place it in /etc/systemd/system folder with a name like myfirst.service.

  2. Make sure that your script is executable with:

     chmod u+x /path/to/spark/sbin/start-all.sh
  3. Start it:

     sudo systemctl start myfirst
  4. Enable it to run at boot:

     sudo systemctl enable myfirst
  5. Stop it:

     sudo systemctl stop myfirst


  1. You don't need to launch Spark with sudo in your service, as the default service user is already root.

  2. Look at the links below for more systemd options.


Now what we have above is just rudimentary, here is a complete setup for spark:

Description=Apache Spark Master and Slave Servers

To setup the service:

sudo systemctl start spark.service
sudo systemctl stop spark.service
sudo systemctl enable spark.service

Further reading

Please read through the following links. Spark is a complex setup, so you should understand how it integrates with Ubuntu's init service.

  • 1
    Thanks for this, I've created a file based on what you suggested. Upon running sudo systemctl start spark is receive the following error: Failed to start spark.service: Unit spark.service is not loaded properly: Invalid argument. See system logs and 'systemctl status spark.service' for details. May 26, 2017 at 10:24
  • The main part of systemctl status spark.service is as follows: Executable path is not absolute and spark.service: Service lacks both ExecStart= and ExecStop= setting. Refusing. May 26, 2017 at 10:27
  • The issues are 1) Spark binary path (should replace what we have in the service file) is needed, 2) Spark has a shut down command what is it. 3) Did you go through the links I gave you. I don't use spark so supply them May 26, 2017 at 11:05
  • @GeorgeUdosen Thanks for your answer, my question is how can I run spark under a specific command after rebooting?The question is here askubuntu.com/questions/979498/… Dec 13, 2017 at 6:21
  • Please advise that user and administration units should now be put in /etc/systemd/system and not in /lib/systemd/system. systemclt enable myservice will not work in /lib/systemd. @see unix.stackexchange.com/questions/206315/… Jan 8, 2020 at 12:19

Copy-paste this into a terminal (as root) to create /root/boot.sh and run it on boot:


cat > $bootscript <<EOF
#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo "$bootscript ran at \$(date)!" > /tmp/it-works

chmod +x $bootscript

cat > /etc/systemd/system/$servicename.service <<EOF

systemctl enable $servicename

To modify the parameters, for example to use a different $bootscript, just set that variable manually and skip that line when copying the commands.

After running the commands, you can edit /root/boot.sh using your favorite editor, and it will run on next boot. You can also immediately run it by using:

systemctl start $servicename
  • 1
    I'm a bit confused by systemd docs, but shouldn't it be Type=oneshot RemainAfterExit=yes or systemd will consider the task inactive unless the custom script leaves some processes running. Jul 27, 2019 at 14:38
  • @PeterLamberg I tried reading systemd docs too and yet here we both are ;). I remember they weren't very clear, but the answer I posted works for me on multiple systems (I revisit this page every now and then when I need it again). Do you mean that, because it's considered 'inactive', every successive 'start' call will re-run the script? Because I would consider that as expected for a shell script. I'd find it weird if I had to 'stop' something that isn't actually running before I can start it again.
    – Luc
    Jul 27, 2019 at 18:53

Adding startup items in systemd is complex and cumbersome. To make this more convenient, I have wirte a tool add_service which provides a simple way to quickly add startup item in systemd.


pip3 install add_service


python -m add_service [shell_file/cmd] [user (default `whoami`)]


python -m add_service ssh_nat.sh  # by default user is `whoami`
python -m add_service "`which python3` -m http.server 80" root

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