systemd is like the service manager for your Centos and other modern Linux distributions (including Debian/Mint/Ubuntu) allows you to enable services, stop them, restart them, check their status and even reboot your system.
The key commands or arguments you will use with systemctl are the following:
list-units [PATTERN...] List loaded units
This is not the normal "black screen" issue and I was shocked to eventually find out why. The normal advice of reconfiguring Xorg didn't work. Even booting into "Recovery Mode" did not help.
Here is the short end of the stick that fixed it:
sudo apt-get install mdm mate-desktop-environment
Yes you got it right, mdm and the mate-desktop-environment / gnome were somehow uninstalled. This must be whe........