systemd-firstboot, systemd-firstboot.service - Initialize basic
system settings on or before the first boot-up of a system
systemd-firstboot initializes the most basic system
settings interactively on the first boot, or optionally non-interactively
when a system image is created. The service is started if
ConditionFirstBoot=yes is satisfied. This essentially means that
/etc/ is empty, see systemd.unit(5) for details.
The following settings may be set up:
•The system locale, more specifically the two
locale variables LANG= and LC_MESSAGES
•The system keyboard map
•The system time zone
•The system hostname
•The machine ID of the system
•The root user's password
Each of the fields may either be queried interactively by users,
set non-interactively on the tool's command line, or be copied from a host
system that is used to set up the system image.
If a setting is already initialized, it will not be overwritten
and the user will not be prompted for the setting.
Note that this tool operates directly on the file system and does
not involve any running system services, unlike localectl(1),
timedatectl(1) or hostnamectl(1). This allows
systemd-firstboot to operate on mounted but not booted disk images
and in early boot. It is not recommended to use systemd-firstboot on
the running system while it is up.
The following options are understood:
Takes a directory path as an argument. All paths will be
prefixed with the given alternate root path, including config search
paths. This is useful to operate on a system image mounted to the specified
directory instead of the host system itself.
Takes a path to a disk image file or block device node.
If specified all operations are applied to file system in the indicated disk
image. This is similar to --root=
but operates on file systems stored
in disk images or block devices. The disk image should either contain just a
file system or a set of file systems within a GPT partition table, following
the Discoverable Partitions Specification
. For further information
on supported disk images, see systemd-nspawn(1)
's switch of the same
Sets the system locale, more specifically the
settings. The argument should be a valid
locale identifier, such as "de_DE.UTF-8". This controls the
Sets the system keyboard layout. The argument should be a
valid keyboard map, such as "de-latin1". This controls the
"KEYMAP" entry in the vconsole.conf(5) configuration
Sets the system time zone. The argument should be a valid
time zone identifier, such as "Europe/Berlin". This controls the
Sets the system hostname. The argument should be a
hostname, compatible with DNS. This controls the hostname(5)
Sets the system's machine ID. This controls the
Sets the password of the system's root user. This
creates/modifies the passwd(5) and shadow(5) files. This setting
exists in three forms: --root-password= accepts the password to set
directly on the command line, --root-password-file= reads it from a
file and --root-password-hashed= accepts an already hashed password on
the command line. See shadow(5) for more information on the format of
the hashed password. Note that it is not recommended to specify plaintext
passwords on the command line, as other users might be able to see them simply
by invoking ps(1).
Sets the shell of the system's root user. This
creates/modifies the passwd(5) file.
Sets the system's kernel command line. This controls the
/etc/kernel/cmdline file which is used by kernel-install(8)
Prompt the user interactively for a specific basic
setting. Note that any explicit configuration settings specified on the
command line take precedence, and the user is not prompted for it.
Query the user for locale, keymap, timezone, hostname,
root's password, and root's shell. This is equivalent to specifying
--prompt-locale, --prompt-keymap, --prompt-timezone,
--prompt-root-shell in combination.
Copy a specific basic setting from the host. This only
works in combination with --root= (see above).
Copy locale, keymap, time zone, root password and shell
from the host. This is equivalent to specifying --copy-locale,
--copy-keymap, --copy-timezone, --copy-root-password,
--copy-root-shell in combination.
Initialize the system's machine ID to a random ID. This
only works in combination with --root=.
systemd-firstboot doesn't modify existing files unless
--force is specified. For modifications to /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow,
systemd-firstboot only modifies the entry of the "root" user instead
of overwriting the entire file.
Removes the password of the system's root user, enabling
login as root without a password unless the root account is locked. Note that
this is extremely insecure and hence this option should not be used
Takes a boolean argument. By default when prompting the
user for configuration options a brief welcome text is shown before the first
question is asked. Pass false to this option to turn off the welcome
Print a short help text and exit.
Print a short version string and exit.
systemd-firstboot supports the service credentials logic as
implemented by LoadCredential=/SetCredential= (see
systemd.exec(1) for details). The following credentials are used when
A hashed or plaintext version of the root password to
use, in place of prompting the user. These credentials are equivalent to the
same ones defined for the systemd-sysusers.service(8)
Specifies the shell binary to use for the specified
account. Equivalent to the credential of the same name defined for the
These credentials specify the locale settings to set
during first boot, in place of prompting the user.
This credential specifies the keyboard setting to set
during first boot, in place of prompting the user.
Note the relationship to the "vconsole.keymap"
credential understood by systemd-vconsole-setup.service(8): both
ultimately affect the same setting, but firstboot.keymap is written
into /etc/vconsole.conf on first boot (if not already configured), and then
read from there by systemd-vconsole-setup, while
vconsole.keymap is read on every boot, and is not persisted to disk
(but any configuration in vconsole.conf will take precedence if
This credential specifies the system timezone setting to
set during first boot, in place of prompting the user.
Note that by default the systemd-firstboot.service unit file is
set up to inherit the listed credentials from the service manager. Thus,
when invoking a container with an unpopulated /etc/ for the first time it is
possible to configure the root user's password to be "systemd"
# systemd-nspawn --image=... --set-credential=firstboot.locale:de_DE.UTF-8 ...
Note that these credentials are only read and applied during the
first boot process. Once they are applied they remain applied for subsequent
boots, and the credentials are not considered anymore.
On success, 0 is returned, a non-zero failure code otherwise.
KERNEL COMMAND LINE¶
Takes a boolean argument, defaults to on. If off,
systemd-firstboot.service won't interactively query the user for basic
settings at first boot, even if those settings are not initialized yet.
systemd(1), locale.conf(5), vconsole.conf(5),
localtime(5), hostname(5), machine-id(5),
shadow(5), systemd-machine-id-setup(1), localectl(1),
- Discoverable Partitions Specification