Using systemctl edit to Delay Service Startup

Following a recent update, I found that the Linux development environment on my Framework Chromebook would fail to load if the Tailscale daemon was already running. It seems that the Tailscale virtual interface may have interfered with how the CrOS Terminal app was expecting to connect to the Linux container. I initially worked around the problem by just disabling the tailscaled service, but having to remember to start it up manually was a pretty heavy cognitive load.

Fortunately, it turns out that overriding the service to insert a short startup delay is really easy. I'll just use the systemctl edit command to create a quick override configuration:

sudo systemctl edit tailscaled

This shows me the existing contents of the tailscaled.service definition so I can easily insert some overrides above. In this case, I just want to use sleep 5 as the ExecStartPre command so that the service start will be delayed by 5 seconds: systemctl edit

Upon saving the file, it gets installed to /etc/systemd/system/tailscaled.service.d/override.conf. Now the Tailscale interface won't automatically come up until a few seconds later, and that's enough to let my Terminal app start up reliably once more.

Easy peasy.