Node.js Running node.js as a service


Unlike many web servers, Node isn't installed as a service out of the box. But in production, it's better to have it run as a dæmon, managed by an init system.

Node.js as a systemd dæmon

systemd is the de facto init system in most Linux distributions. After Node has been configured to run with systemd, it's possible to use the service command to manage it.

First of all, it needs a config file, let's create it. For Debian based distros, it will be in /etc/systemd/system/node.service

Description=My super nodejs app

# set the working directory to have consistent relative paths

# start the server file (file is relative to WorkingDirectory here)
ExecStart=/usr/bin/node serverCluster.js

# if process crashes, always try to restart

# let 500ms between the crash and the restart

# send log tot syslog here (it doesn't compete with other log config in the app itself)

# nodejs process name in syslog

# user and group starting the app

# set the environement (dev, prod…)

# start node at multi user system level (= sysVinit runlevel 3)

It's now possible to respectively start, stop and restart the app with:

service node start
service node stop
service node restart

To tell systemd to automatically start node on boot, just type: systemctl enable node.

That's all, node now runs as a dæmon.