I have a systemd service that looks like this:

Description=Kcrypt Backend Webpack Bundler



The .sh file looks like this:

#!/usr/bin/env bash


rm ./dist/* -rf

yarn start webpack --watch 

The problem is that it cannot find yarn.

My user is called kenny. kenny has a tool called nvm installed that manages nodejs versions. That tool adds a directory to the PATH env variable by editing '~/.bashrc'.

That means that the yarn command is only available if the user is logged in as kenny.

I was left with the impression that if I set the systemd's unit's user to 'kenny', systemd will take care of the rest, or I don't know what I was thinking.

Is there any way that I can import kenny's PATH variable into the systemd unit?

  • You should not be calling that script at all. You should call yarn directly from the systemd unit. – Michael Hampton Apr 3 '18 at 16:04

Instead of trying to 'reference a user's PATH variable', you should either define PATH manually, or more appropriately, use the full path to the binary.

That means that the yarn command is only available if the user is logged in as kenny

This isn't accurate. It just means that yarn isn't installed in a location referenced by the PATH variable used by systemd, and is likely in a custom location, or location outside of the default PATH variable.

When you're logged in as kenny, use which yarn to print the path to yarn, then make sure to use that when referencing it in the script.


bash will only source ~/.bashrc if you're running it as an interactive shell, it won't do that if you're simply running bash for a script.

Considering systemd is only running bash as the interpreter of the webpack.sh script (in fact, it doesn't even know that bash is involved, the kernel executes it as the interpreter from the #! line), then it's not an interactive shell, and no startup files are read.

You can work around that by sourcing ~/.bashrc explicitly at the start of your webpack.sh script, assuming everything in there is safe to run in a non-interactive shell. (It should be fine.)

So consider adding this line to the start of your script:

. ~/.bashrc

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