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Startup Services

Often when thinking about running programs, we're used to launching them with a GUI. When running a computer as a server, we want the system to start up with everything running that needs to be running. This includes:

  • Attaching file systems (e.g. external storage devices, disks, drives)
  • Starting services (systemd)
  • Starting containers (docker)

Attaching file systems

If you know there is a drive that is always going to be attached to a system, you can set up the server so that it automatically mounts the drive on startup. (Note: if the drive is not present, the startup process will stall.) Automatic drive mounting is done by adding an entry to the /etc/fstab file. You need administrator rights to do this.

You'll need to know the device location (usually something like /dev/sd*)

sudo dmesg | grep \\[sd

Open with your favorite editor

sudo vi /etc/fstab

Then add the configuration to fstab

/dev/sdb1       /media/account/My_Passport   ext4    defaults        0       0

Unlike automatic mounting, the mount point needs to exist:

mkdir -p /media/account/My_Passport

Once mounted, ntfs drives will show up as type fuseblk. However, the format for ntfs drives in /etc/fstab appears to be

dev/sda2   /mnt/excess ntfs-3g    permissions,locale=en_US.utf8    0   2

sudo mount -a

To replicate the GUI mount behavior from the CLI (maybe does not require root?):

udisksctl mount -b /dev/sdb2

Useful to see what settings should be used

Starting services (systemd)

To make a service start automatically when the system starts, create a systemd service.

vi /etc/systemd/system/filebrowser.service


ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/filebrowser -r /

systemctl start filebrowser
systemctl enable filebrowser

P.S. this would be a dangerous setup if your filebrowser is accessible via the public internet. In my case it is only listening on the private network.

systemctl status filebrowser.service

Starting containers (docker)

In docker-compose.yml use:

restart: unless-stopped

restart: always is another option, but I find it's too agressive in restarting services. If I stop it manually, I usually don't want it to come back automatically when the system restarts.