How does one go about getting the command line prompt back after using the systemctl status command? The command appears to succeed as it displays the status information of the requested service. However, the terminal appears to lock up after using the command.


3 Answers 3


If you mean

systemctl status

at the end it shows this:

         │ └─318 /lib/systemd/systemd-journald
         │ └─1703 /usr/lib/fwupd/fwupd
         │ └─395 /lib/systemd/systemd-networkd
           └─2918 /usr/sbin/cups-browsed
lines 172-194/194 (END)

... then press a q for quit.

As steeldriver noted in comments: use --no-pager if you do not want this behaviour see details.

systemctl status --no-pager
  • 3
    I wonder why would they not show this by default like nano does.
    – mathakoot
    Jul 9, 2018 at 3:36
  • Sweet. I used this in a script to give feedback during an install and without your fix it forces you to crtl C out of it. Thanks!
    – F1Linux
    Jun 19, 2019 at 13:14
  • 8
    --no-pager also works great for noninteractive scripts
    – rubo77
    Jan 13, 2020 at 18:16
  • Can we also do systemctl status package | cat?
    – alper
    Nov 26, 2021 at 13:34

Check what systemctl is running in another terminal:

$ pstree -pa $(pgrep systemctl)
systemctl,2100 status

And from man less:

q or Q or :q or :Q or ZZ
  Exits less.

systemctl status | cat does the job as well. You're just redirecting the output of systemctl status to cat which in turn dumps everything on the console without any pagination

  • 1
    Unfortunately this way the systemctl exit status is lost (unless set -o pipefail). Sep 11, 2019 at 10:14

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