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Node app as a service

terpinmd profile image terpinmd ・1 min read

Recently I deployed a node application to a raspberry pi that i had laying around. There was surprisingly sparse documentation on how to start the app as a service so that when the ssh connection was shut down the app would still run.

First I wrote a small script and placed in in the pi users home directory:

~/startup (chmod 755)

export NODE_OPTIONS="--max-old-space-size=2048"
export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/node/bin (and whatever else you want on path)
npm run prod

Test the file by executing it:

sh ~/startup

At this point the app was up and running. Its important to not move on until the startup script is working.

What I then wanted to do was to be able to run this as a service like:

sudo service myservice start

The following is that code which I then placed in /etc/systemd/system/:

/etc/systemd/system/myservice.service

[Unit]
Description=myservice

[Service]
ExecStart=/home/pi/startup
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=60s
User=pi
Group=nogroup
WorkingDirectory=/path/to/app
RestartSec=30000ms

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Many of the above properties are not mandatory. The key is the ExecStart which references the startup file we created. Finally, I wanted the service to start on boot which is done via:

sudo systemctl enable myservice

The service can be start, stopped and monitored with:

sudo service myservice start
sudo service myservice stop
sudo service myservice status

It took me a while to get this to work but once I found the pieces it was very easy.

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