Graphical interfaces for systemd


If you click on Systemd Units at the top left, you can initiate an analysis of the loaded services by selecting the Systemd Analyze option in the selection box that opens. The Systemd Manager then changes the window view, where the general loading times for the system appear in seconds on the left, and the loading times for the individual units are listed on the right. Here the admin can see which services need especially long loading times (Figure 8).

Figure 8: You can easily determine hits and misses at startup with a mouse click for Systemd Manager.


The configuration module systemd-kcm [7], which like its predecessor for KDE-4.x desktop seamlessly fits into the work interface's configuration dialogs, is especially suitable for KDE Plasma 5. Systemd-kcm also doesn't automatically end up on the hard disk with the major distributions; instead, you have to import it separately.

The chaos of names does cause a few problems here: Although the module appears as systemd-kcm on Arch Linux and Open Mandriva, it is called plasma5-systemd-kcm on Rosa Linux distributions and kde-config-systemd on Kubuntu.

However, the interface hardly differs from the module for KDE 4.x at first glance: Systemd-kcm also opens a program window with a large display area with several lines, and the display area only has a few control elements. When looking more closely, however, it becomes clear that the tab structure is different from the predecessor: Configuration options for session and login management are now missing, and the User units, Conf, Sessions, and Timer tabs reappear (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Systemd-KCM has a similar interface to Kcmsystemd but has a few modified options.

User units shows units that are active at the user level, and the Units tab lists all system units. The range of functions of these two windows is identical to that of the aforementioned items.

In the third tab – Conf – you can configure the individual systemd components. You can determine in a selection box at the top right whether to edit the system.conf, journald.conf, or logind.conf file. The individual parameters (which can be edited) of the selected configuration file then appear below in a table. Here, too, notes about the individual options appear when moving the mouse over them (Figure 10).

Figure 10: The parameters of the configuration files can be modified through entry in the program window.

Systemd-kcm shows modifications in bold font, so that the user can get a quick overview of the changes. To save them in the respective file, you can use the Apply button at the bottom right and must then be authenticated, as the software starts from the conventional KDE system settings if there are no root privileges in place.

The Sessions tab manages the Logind settings. It displays all Logind sessions, which the admin can activate, terminate, or block with a right-click. In the final tab, Timer, the user receives a detailed overview of the existing timer units. They may already appear in the first tab if you select the Timer option from the selection list, but the appearance in their own tab is much more meaningful. Not only are the timer units displayed here (systemd KCM lists system and user timers), but also the exact times of the last and the next execution. The respective activated service unit also appears in the table.


SystemdGenie [8], the first version of which was released at the end of 2016, is in fact a variant of Systemd-KCM disconnected from the KDE system settings. So far, the software has only been available in source code [11], with the exception of Gentoo Linux [12]. After being compiled as a standalone application, it provides the same functions and a tab structure that is basically identical to Systemd-KCM. The only differences are a menubar and a buttonbar with some frequently used functions such as for starting, stopping, and reloading the respective units.

The basic requirement for using SystemdGenie is Qt libraries from version 5.4; SystemdGenie does not work on older KDE variants. The developer provides a quick installation guide at [13].

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