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
[Unit] Description=My super nodejs app [Service] # set the working directory to have consistent relative paths WorkingDirectory=/var/www/app # start the server file (file is relative to WorkingDirectory here) ExecStart=/usr/bin/node serverCluster.js # if process crashes, always try to restart Restart=always # let 500ms between the crash and the restart RestartSec=500ms # send log tot syslog here (it doesn't compete with other log config in the app itself) StandardOutput=syslog StandardError=syslog # nodejs process name in syslog SyslogIdentifier=nodejs # user and group starting the app User=www-data Group=www-data # set the environement (dev, prod…) Environment=NODE_ENV=production [Install] # start node at multi user system level (= sysVinit runlevel 3) WantedBy=multi-user.target
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.