named starts and runs fine if I start it manually ("/usr/sbin/named -u named"), but when I start it with systemctl, it fails:

# systemctl start named
Job for named.service failed because a timeout was exceeded. See "systemctl status named.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

The status just shows normal named messages, however a "ps alx" while it's still running makes it look like it's looking for password input somewhere, which it shouldn't be doing, but maybe that's a default systemctl thing and a red herring:

4     0 18608 28440  20   0 134824  1296 poll_s S+   pts/1      0:00 systemctl start named
0     0 18609 18608  20   0  15428   824 poll_s S+   pts/1      0:00 /usr/bin/systemd-tty-ask-password-agent --watch
0     0 18610 18608  20   0 294680  3056 poll_s Sl+  pts/1      0:00 /usr/bin/pkttyagent --notify-fd 5 --fallback
5    25 18624     1  20   0 294512 146616 sigsus Ssl ?          0:06 /usr/sbin/named -u named -c /etc/named.conf

Anyway, hopefully someone knows what's going on...

  • What does the log say when you try to start it through systemd? Jan 25, 2019 at 21:26
  • After I delete all the loading zone messages, they are identical whether starting with systemd or manually, aside from systemd giving up and killing it: 30 seconds after named is started there is "systemd: named.service start operation timed out. Terminating." and named shutting down log messages.
    – abatie
    Jan 26, 2019 at 1:04
  • What changes did you make to /etc/sysconfig/named and to the named.service unit? Jan 26, 2019 at 3:18
  • None, and I did a yum update as well (which did update named)
    – abatie
    Jan 29, 2019 at 0:55

2 Answers 2


You can test your named.conf configuration with the named-checkconf command.

named-checkconf /etc/named.conf

If there's no output from that command, your named.conf configuration is good.

If there's an error, you'll see some reference to the error.

  • If it were a named configuration problem, it wouldn't start up manually.
    – abatie
    Jan 29, 2019 at 0:55

The problem turned out to be that systemd was looking for the process pid in a different place than named.conf was putting it:

May  3 16:04:59 ns2 systemd: PID file /run/named/named.pid not readable (yet?) after start.
options {
        directory       "/var/named";
        pid-file        "/var/run/named/pid";

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