This is largely drawn from the excellent Digital Ocean guide, but with a little more detail around the systemd specifics.

Using this method, there’s no longer any need for forever since systemd will do the restarting automatically.

systemd setup

Put into (for example) /etc/systemd/system/node-webserver.service :

[Service]
ExecStart=[node binary] [main file.js]
## Example
#ExecStart=/usr/bin/node app.js
Restart=always
StandardOutput=syslog
StandardError=syslog
SyslogIdentifier=node-webserver
User=srv-node-sample
Group=srv-node-sample
## Could also be :
#User=nginx
#Group=nginx
Environment=NODE_ENV=production
WorkingDirectory=<FULL-PATH-TO-WORKING-DIRECTORY>

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

If you make changes to the .service file, you should to execute :

systemctl daemon-reload

systemd control

If everything is set up properly, the service can be controlled with :

# Do these for simple testing
systemctl start node-webserver
systemctl status node-webserver
systemctl stop node-webserver

# and, for across-reboot operations :
systemctl enable node-webserver
systemctl disable node-webserver

Other things to watch out for…

Also, remember to set permissions for the configured User/Group to access the WorkingDirectory.

Also, note that to make a webserver (nginx, say) talk to your
backend server (node, say), SELINUX needs :

/usr/sbin/setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect true 

where the ‘-P’ option makes this work across reboots.



Martin Andrews

{Finance, Software, AI} entrepreneur, living in Singapore with my family.



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