I have a custom made service file and I'm unable to run it. Here is the ExecStart line:

ExecStart=/bin/rsync --ignore-existing -rtvu /var/foo/foo/ /var/foo2/foo2 && /bin/chown nginx:nginx -R /var/foo2/foo2/ && /bin/chmod -R 777 /var/foo2/foo2/

Whenever I try to run the service, I get the following error message in the log files:

Sep 26 10:27:21 myserver rsync[9609]: Unexpected remote arg: nginx:nginx
Sep 26 10:27:21 myserver rsync[9609]: rsync error: syntax or usage error (code 1) at main.c(1214) [sender=3.0.9]

Any ideas what is the issue? The commands are running fine when I copy-paste them to my terminal


ExecStart is not a shell. See the 'Command Lines' section in the documentation https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd.service.html.

You need to run a shell with your command line as it's argument.

  • Thank you! The solution will be then: ExecStart=/bin/rsync --ignore-existing -rtvu /var/foo/foo/ /var/foo2/foo2 ; /bin/chown nginx:nginx -R /var/foo2/foo2/ ; /bin/chmod -R 777 /var/foo2/foo2/ and also it should be oneshot type. – Bert Sep 26 '18 at 11:05

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