My assumption was that this file needs to be created as explained in section https://www.openhab.org/docs/installation/linux.html#installation
Once deleted my system started
The following instructions are intended for a Linux init system based on systemd (e.g. Debian 8 / Ubuntu 15.x and newer). This will allow you to register openHAB as a service, so that it runs at startup and automatically restarts if openHAB crashes. The service will be running with the privileges of the user “openhab” and expects the openHAB files under /opt/openhab2.
Create the file /lib/systemd/system/openhab2.service with the following content:
[Unit] Description=The openHAB 2 Home Automation Bus Solution Documentation=http://docs.openhab.org Wants=network-online.target After=network-online.target [Service] Type=expert User=openhab Group=openhab GuessMainPID=yes WorkingDirectory=/usr/share/openhab2 #EnvironmentFile=/etc/default/openhab2 ExecStart=/usr/share/openhab2/start.sh server ExecStop=/bin/kill -SIGINT $MAINPID Restart=on-failure [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target