How to Use Systemctl List Services: A Comprehensive Guide

So, you want to use systemctl to list services on your Linux machine? No sweat! It’s a simple process that involves using the terminal and a few commands. After reading this quick overview, you’ll be ready to list, manage, and understand the services running on your system.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Use Systemctl List Services

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of commands, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Using ‘systemctl list services’ will show you all the services that your system is running, which can help you manage them better.

Step 1: Open the Terminal

Open the terminal on your Linux system.

The terminal is like the control center for Linux. You can find it in your applications menu or search for it.

Step 2: Enter the Command

Type the command systemctl list-units --type=service and hit Enter.

This command will list all active services on your system. If you want to see inactive services as well, you can use the --all option.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a list of all the services running on your system. It’ll show you which ones are active, loaded, and running, among other statuses.

Tips: Optimizing Your Experience With Systemctl List Services

  • Use the --state=active or --state=inactive to filter the list by service state.
  • To get more verbose output, add the -l option to the command.
  • Remember that you can combine options, like --type=service --all to see all services regardless of their state.
  • If you’re looking for a specific service, you can use the grep command to filter results, like so: systemctl list-units --type=service | grep ssh.
  • Regularly checking your services with systemctl can help you ensure that your system is running smoothly and securely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is systemctl?

Systemctl is a command-line utility for managing system services in Linux. It’s part of the systemd system and service manager.

Why would I need to list services?

Listing services can help you understand what’s running on your system, troubleshoot issues, and manage system resources.

Can I start or stop services with systemctl?

Yes! You can use commands like systemctl start [service] or systemctl stop [service] to manage services.

How can I enable or disable services from starting on boot?

Use systemctl enable [service] to have a service start on boot, or systemctl disable [service] to prevent it from starting automatically.

What’s the difference between active and loaded services?

An active service is currently running, while a loaded service is one that’s recognized by the system but not necessarily running.


  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Enter the command systemctl list-units --type=service.


Using systemctl to list services on your Linux system is a key skill for any user looking to manage their machine’s resources effectively. Not only does it provide a snapshot of what’s currently running, but it also gives you the power to control these services, ensuring your system’s performance is optimized. This tutorial has hopefully demystified the process and shown you how straightforward it can be. So why not dive in and see what services are powering your system under the hood? With some practice, you’ll be managing your system like a pro in no time. And remember, if you ever need to venture further into the world of system management, systemctl is your trusty sidekick, ready to assist with a wide array of tasks.

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