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F.7. systemd targets

systemd replaces traditional SysVinit runlevels with predefined groups of units called targets. Targets are usually defined according to the intended use of the system, and ensure that required dependencies for that use are met.
The system boots to the target described in /lib/systemd/system/default.target. This file is a symlink that can be changed when booting to a different target is desired. Appending systemd.unit=custom.target to the kernel's boot arguments will override the default target. Refer to Section E.8, “Changing Target Environment at Boot Time” for detailed instructions.
The following table shows some standard preconfigured targets, the sysVinit runlevels they resemble and the use case they address.
Table F.1. Predefined systemd targets
Runlevel Target Usage
1,single rescue.target single user mode, for recovery of critical system components or configuration
3 multi-user.target Non-graphical multi-user console access, via local TTYs or network.
5 graphical.target A GUI session. Typically provides the user with a fully featured desktop environment.
4 custom.target systemd allows any number of custom defined targets.