systemd-escape(1) Escape strings for usage in system unit names


systemd-escape [OPTIONS...] [STRING...]



may be used to escape strings for inclusion in systemd unit names. The command may be used to escape and to undo escaping of strings.

The command takes any number of strings on the command line, and will process them individually, one after another. It will output them separated by spaces to stdout.

By default, this command will escape the strings passed, unless --unescape is passed which results in the inverse operation being applied. If --mangle is given, a special mode of escaping is applied instead, which assumes the string is already escaped but will escape everything that appears obviously non-escaped.


The following options are understood:


Appends the specified unit type suffix to the escaped string. Takes one of the unit types supported by systemd, such as ".service" or ".mount". May not be used in conjunction with --template=, --unescape or --mangle.


Inserts the escaped strings in a unit name template. Takes a unit name template such as [email protected] May not be used in conjunction with --suffix=, --unescape or --mangle.

--path, -p

When escaping or unescaping a string, assume it refers to a file system path. This enables special processing of the initial "/" of the path.


Instead of escaping the specified strings, undo the escaping, reversing the operation. May not be used in conjunction with --suffix=, --template= or --mangle.


Like --escape, but only escape characters that are obviously not escaped yet, and possibly automatically append an appropriate unit type suffix to the string. May not be used in conjunction with --suffix=, --template= or --unescape.

-h, --help

Print a short help text and exit.


Print a short version string and exit.


Escape a single string:

$ systemd-escape 'Hallöchen, Meister'

To undo escaping on a single string:

$ systemd-escape -u 'Hall\xc3\xb6chen\x2c\x20Meister'
Hallöchen, Meister

To generate the mount unit for a path:

$ systemd-escape -p --suffix=mount "/tmp//waldi/foobar/"

To generate instance names of three strings

$ systemd-escape [email protected] 'My Container 1' 'containerb' 'container/III'
systemd-nspawn@My\x20Container\x201.service [email protected] [email protected]


On success, 0 is returned, a non-zero failure code otherwise.