How to Change Runlevels (targets) in SystemD

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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10 Responses

  1. Tim Kissane says:

    Thanks for the clear, concise explanation. It is needed and appreciated. However, I’m looking for a way to find the current target, not necessarily the same thing as the default target.

    I’m writing a script using the runlevel man page as a guide. Some bright soul pointed out `who -r` gives the current run level (but not target). There should be an easier way (like or similar).

    Have I missed something? TIA.

  2. Sam MM says:

    Thanks for the great details. It is really helpful.

  3. Pedro Bezunartea López says:

    Just what I needed: changing the runlevel using SystemD without rebooting, thank you!

  4. linuxdood says:

    Nice article and helpful info since I did need to know this.

    Unfortunately I needed to look up something this simple as systemd is change for change sake and is unnecessarily over complicated.

    There was nothing wrong with # init 3

  5. Eric says:

    Thanks. This is well written. I had read another source that did not mention the graphical target so I ended up without a GUI for a while :)

  6. fred smith says:

    probably a typo: cannot be a link to both and

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Ooops, that’s correct. We will update the article soon; it is supposed to read:
      “Run level 0 is matched by (and is a symbolic link to”

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