I am trying to get my raspberry pi 3 (running Raspbian 10) to show an animation on boot and before shutdown/reboot.

using Plymouth I managed to get the boot animation, however, it doesn't display anything on reboot/shutdown. So I wrote a small shell script and linked it with systemd services to show the animation before shutdown.target reboot.target.

here is what I tried:

/etc/systemd/system/run2.service :

Description=Run a script at shutdown



for the Before=.. I also tried Before=shutdown.target reboot.target and Before=plymouth.target, they have the same result as explained above.

/lib/systemd/system-shutdown/test.sh :

#! /bin/bash
sudo plymouthd
sudo plymouth show-splash
sudo sleep 5
sudo touch /home/pi/Desktop/test


sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/run2.service
sudo chmod +x  /lib/systemd/system-shutdown/test.sh

sudo systemctl enable run2.service

on each restart, the file test is created on the desktop but right after a reboot or shutdown now command but the screen goes blank without showing any animation.

can anybody give a newbie explanation on this subject?


1 Answer 1


Your service file looks good, except for the Before=multi-user.target line. That should be After=multi-user.target, because services get stopped in the inverted order they got started.

There's no need for ExecStart= or Type= as you can find the following in the manual pages:

Type=oneshot is the implied default if neither Type= nor ExecStart= are specified.


When Type=oneshot is used, zero or more commands may be specified.

To troubleshoot your problem add exec &>> /var/log/run2.log as the second line to your script and some echos. This will redirect all output to a file (/var/log/run2.log) so that you can possibly see what has gotten wrong.

I tested it with following script

exec &>> /home/pi/test.log
echo "shutdown"
sleep 2
echo "slept 2 seconds"
sleep 3
echo "slept another 3 seconds"

and after a reboot I found that test.log existed and contained:

Do 8. Aug 12:35:24 BST 2019 
slept 2 seconds 
slept another 3 seconds
  • the problem turned out to be from another service which turned the screen power off to early (before execution of the script) to prevent that I executed 'sudo systemctl mask rpi-display-backlight.service' and called 'echo 1 > /sys/class/backlight/rpi_backlight/bl_power' in the shell script to power off the lcd after the execution of the script. Aug 21, 2019 at 9:55

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