The following startup script for systemd (Debian GNU/Linux Jessie)

Description=Apache httpd web server

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/apache2 -d /etc/apache2 -k start


does not work because the executable doesn't pick up the env variables in the EnvironmentFile.

This is what I read in /var/log/daemon.log on service start:

Nov 23 10:05:30 kdc apache2[3111]: AH00526: Syntax error on line 74 of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf:
Nov 23 10:05:30 kdc apache2[3111]: Invalid Mutex directory in argument file:${APACHE_LOCK_DIR}

APACHE_LOCK_DIR is defined in /etc/apache2/envvars which is stock debian stuff:

# envvars - default environment variables for apache2ctl

# this won't be correct after changing uid
unset HOME

# for supporting multiple apache2 instances
if [ "${APACHE_CONFDIR##/etc/apache2-}" != "${APACHE_CONFDIR}" ] ; then
# Since there is no sane way to get the parsed apache2 config in scripts, some
# settings are defined via environment variables and then used in apache2ctl,
# /etc/init.d/apache2, /etc/logrotate.d/apache2, etc.
export APACHE_RUN_USER=www-data
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=www-data
# temporary state file location. This might be changed to /run in Wheezy+1
export APACHE_PID_FILE=/var/run/apache2/apache2$SUFFIX.pid
export APACHE_RUN_DIR=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX
export APACHE_LOCK_DIR=/var/lock/apache2$SUFFIX
# Only /var/log/apache2 is handled by /etc/logrotate.d/apache2.
export APACHE_LOG_DIR=/var/log/apache2$SUFFIX

## The locale used by some modules like mod_dav
export LANG=C
## Uncomment the following line to use the system default locale instead:
#. /etc/default/locale

export LANG

## The command to get the status for 'apache2ctl status'.
## Some packages providing 'www-browser' need '--dump' instead of '-dump'.
#export APACHE_LYNX='www-browser -dump'

## If you need a higher file descriptor limit, uncomment and adjust the
## following line (default is 8192):
#APACHE_ULIMIT_MAX_FILES='ulimit -n 65536'

## If you would like to pass arguments to the web server, add them below
## to the APACHE_ARGUMENTS environment.

## Enable the debug mode for maintainer scripts.
## This will produce a verbose output on package installations of web server modules and web application
## installations which interact with Apache

I have some more warnings about other environment variables, so I need systemd to read the env files. Really.

  • What is in /etc/apache2/envvars? – Michael Hampton Nov 23 '15 at 9:18
  • I added it inline in the question. – 473183469 Nov 23 '15 at 9:25
  • Strange Debian stuff. Does that lock directory exist? – Michael Hampton Nov 23 '15 at 9:32
  • It exists and it is owner by www-data (the debian correct user for the apache2 daemon). – 473183469 Nov 23 '15 at 9:39

The posted envvars is not in the format expected by systemctl:


it is more like a bash script.

Try to fix the format.

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