Linux - Run node.js service with systemd

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Node.js as a running service is becoming more and more popular these days. One of the issues many developers face is how to ensure their node.js service starts automatically, and more importantly how to keep it running should it crash.

Using systemd, which makes this process a lot simpler and more efficient, and means that we do not need another scripts to run your server node.js.

Create the node.js server

const http = require('http');
const hostname = ''; // listen on all ports
const port = 3311;
http.createServer((req, res) => { res.writeHead(200, { 'Content-Type': 'text/plain' });
res.end('Hello World');
}).listen(port, hostname, () => { console.log(`Server running at http://${hostname}:${port}/`);});

We will save this file (for example) as /home/myserver/server.js . Verify the node server works on terminal:

$ node /home/myserver/server.js
# or nodejs, maybe
$ nodejs /home/myserver/server.js

Output: Server running at

Create the service file on Systemd

Create a service file on /etc/systemd/system/ or /lib/systemd/system/ (etc|lib).

$ cd /etc/systemd/system/
$ nano myserver.service

File location: /etc/systemd/system/myserver.service

Description=My Little Server
# Documentation=https://
# Author: Natan Cabral
# Start Service and Examples
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/node /home/myserver/server.js
# ExecStart=/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/node /home/myserver/server.js
# ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/node /var/www/project/myserver/server.js
# Options Stop and Restart
# ExecStop=
# ExecReload=
# Required on some systems
# WorkingDirectory=/home/myserver/
# WorkingDirectory=/var/www/myproject/
# Restart service after 10 seconds if node service crashes
# Restart=on-failure
# Output to syslog
# #### please, not root users
# RHEL/Fedora uses 'nobody'
# User=nouser
# Debian/Ubuntu uses 'nogroup', RHEL/Fedora uses 'nobody'
# Group=nogroup
# variables
# Environment=NODE_ENV=production
# Environment=NODE_PORT=3001
# Environment="SECRET=pGNqduRFkB4K9C2vijOmUDa2kPtUhArN"
# Environment="ANOTHER_SECRET=JP8YLOc2bsNlrGuD6LVTq7L36obpjzxd"

Enable the service

Enable the service on boot

$ systemctl enable myserver.service

Start the service

$ systemctl start myserver.service
$ systemctl restart myserver.service
$ systemctl status myserver.service

Verify it is running

$ journalctl -u myserver.service

Reload all services if you make changes to the service

$ systemctl daemon-reload
$ systemctl restart myserver.service

List process

$ ps -ef | grep myserver.js

Maybe we need permissions

$ chmod +x /etc/systemd/system/myserver.service
$ chmod 664 /etc/systemd/system/myserver.service

about permissions

To kill process if you need try

$ kill -9 {numberPID}

Now finally we can test how systemd restarts the process if it unexpectedly dies.

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;) have fun!

Names to remember:

  • systemctlsystem control
  • systemdsystem manager standard
  • ps process
  • chmodchange the mod




Full Stack Developer | Dev Java, Node.js, TypeScript, React.js, Vue.js, Express.js, Next.js, Rest API, Laravel, Databases, MongoDB, Unix distro and Open Source

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Natan Cabral

Natan Cabral

Full Stack Developer | Dev Java, Node.js, TypeScript, React.js, Vue.js, Express.js, Next.js, Rest API, Laravel, Databases, MongoDB, Unix distro and Open Source

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