Wait for (Audio) Hardware in systemd

Wait for (Audio) Hardware

In some cases it can be necessary to wait for a specific device, like a USB interface, before starting a service with systemd. This is the case for the JACK server in some setups.

With system.device

''systemd.device'' makes it possible to let services depend on the state of specific hardware. The following instructions work only for a static hardware setup and can fail if the hardware configuration is changed.

First: Find if systemd has a unit configuration file for the device. The following code lists all devices:

$ systemctl --all --full -t device

This will be a lot of output. Narrow down the search by grepping for the ALSA name of the device - in this case 'Track':

$ systemctl --all --full -t device | grep Track

The output looks as follows in this case:

sys-devices-pci0000:00-0000:00:14.0-usb2-2\x2d2-2\x2d2:1.0-sound-card1.device                               loaded active plugged M-Audio Fast Track

The '.device' identifier can now be used in the UNIT description's parts After and Requires:

Description=Jack audio server
After=sound.target sys-devices-pci0000:00-0000:00:14.0-usb2-2\x2d2-2\x2d2:1.0-sound-card1.device