Juju and systemd

Below we cover the important issue of the migration of the init system used in Ubuntu: upstart to systemd.

See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SystemdForUpstartUsers.

Note: Due to the issues involving Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid) in various scenarios with the Local Provider, at this time we do not recommend using Vivid as host or as Juju instance with the Local Provider (LXC).


Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid) is the first release that will ship with systemd enabled by default. However, for a limited time its cycle will overlap with a version of Juju that does not support systemd. Since systemd is supported starting with Juju 1.23 a Vivid Juju host will need to revert to upstart when using juju < 1.23 :

sudo apt-get install upstart
sudo update-grub

On Vivid, once 1.23 is updated on it, the older (< 1.23) packages will equally be updated to enforce the above automatically.


  • The provisioning of a Juju-managed machine requires knowledge of the init system in use on that machine. This is achieved by mapping the init system to the Juju version on the machine (juju version info):
  pre-Vivid versions => upstart
  Vivid+ versions => systemd

This mapping may not always hold true. To force the provisiniong process (cloud-init) to use upstart set JUJU_DEV_FEATURE_FLAGS=legacy-upstart in the Juju user's shell environment.

  • For the Local Provider (LXC):

    • a Vivid host does not bootstrap under upstart. See LP #1450092.

    • a Vivid container does not boot on a Trusty host. See LP bug #1347020.


  • Charms that directly call upstart-specific tools will need to adjust (e.g. "start", "stop", "restart", and "initctl"). We recommend using "service" where possible. Where it's not the charm will need to identify the running init system and react accordingly.

  • Charms that install their own upstart scripts will need to adjust. As above, they will need to react to the currently running init system.

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