Systemctl: Assignment outside of section. Ignoring.

I wanted to throw together a quick post for a recent issue I have seen on Redhat 7/CentOS 7 boxes. A recent OS update has brought a small but important change to SystemD. In the past if you wanted to add environment variables to a SystemD service, you could enter # systemctl edit postgresql-14 (note I will be using postgresql-14 as the example service in this post), then add a line such as:

Environment=PGDATA=/opt/postgres/14/data/

After saving the file, and starting the service you are good to go. Recently after a minor update, I started getting the error “[/etc/systemd/system/postgresql-14.service.d/override.conf:1] Assignment outside of section. Ignoring.”, then the service would not start. It turns out, you can no longer drop Environment lines directly into the SystemD overrides, you need to mark which section of the SystemD file you are overriding. Below is the new proper way to go about this:

[Service]
Environment=PGDATA=/opt/postgres/14/data/

Quick fix, but can take a bit of digging. Also for SystemD and Postgres 14, this is the current way to easily redirect the data folder. Hope this helps someone!

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