Using systemd to periodically restart services

I have a custom application that my wife wrote for one of her personal projects. It turns out that the application crashes after 50-70 hours of uptime and both of us does not have the time or knowledge yet to debug that.

And that application is not that important either, it is just a website that displays various articles and pictures.

So in order to just push the problem under the rug, I just configured the system to restart the application ever 4th hour.

First, I create a service that we name “custom-application-restart“:

vi /etc/systemd/system/custom-application-restart.service
Description=restart custom application

ExecStart=/bin/systemctl restart custom-application

Next, we have to add a timer-service, note that the name of the timer-service must be the exact name of the restart-service, except that we swap out “service” to “timer”:

vi /etc/systemd/system/custom-application-restart.timer


Now, you should do the following:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable custom-application-restart.timer
systemctl start custom-application-restart.timer

Now, you should see your newly added timer-service in this list:

systemctl list-timers --all
Mon 2020-02-17 11:01:42 UTC  50min left Mon 2020-02-17 07:01:42 UTC  3h 9min ago  custom-application-restart.timer    custom-application-restart.service