systemd services are killed by watchdog when resuming from suspend/s2idle

Solution In Progress - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
  • Suspend to Idle (s2i, s0ix, "Modern Standby") system


  • systemd services are killed by watchdog when resuming from suspend/s2idle
  • logs show systemd services Failed with result 'watchdog'.


Until this issue can be resolved, Red Hat recommends you switch the system's default 'sleep' mode from the new "Suspend to Idle" method to the older "S3" method by passing the following parameter on the kernel command line: mem_sleep_default=deep

Root Cause

With the new Suspend to Idle sleep method, it's possible for many interrupts to wake the kernel, but not require the system to fully wake from suspend. If this happens the kernel's MONOTONIC clock will restart. Upon wake, when systemd sees the clock has advanced beyond the 3 minute watchdog timeout, it will kill and restart services that have the watchdog enabled.

Diagnostic Steps

The symptoms of this can surface in a couple different ways.
Sometimes it will show as a service being killed via the watchdog, othertimes there will be a coredump for a systemd service.

kernel: PM: suspend entry (s2idle)
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service: Main process exited, code=killed, status=6/ABRT
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service: Failed with result 'watchdog'.
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service: Watchdog timeout (limit 3min)!
systemd[1]: systemd-journald.service: Killing process 840 (systemd-journal) with signal SIGABRT.

In most instances there is a precursor error that shows some other device not suspending or entering low power mode correctly. That is a broad topic with too many possibilities to document them all here.

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