Start node.js application using systemd on RHEL 7

In a test or development environment we can start a node.js application with npm start . But this is not, what we want to do in production.

We need to start the application as soon as the server is up and running.

Here is a quick and easy way to achieve this goal.

Create a new file in /etc/systemd/system ( domino-db.service for example )

[Unit]
Description=domino-node-list sample

[Service]
ExecStart=/git/domino-node-list/app.js
Restart=always
User=root
Group=root
Environment=PATH=/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin
Environment=NODE_ENV=production
WorkingDirectory=/git/domino-node-list/

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Modify ExecStart and WorkingDirectory to point to the correct path in your installation.

Save domino-db.service and set execution rights to 744.

Check app.js for proper execution right (744).

Edit app.js and add

#!/usr/bin/env node

as the first line in the code.

Enable the service

systemctl enable domino-db

Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/domino-db.service to /etc/systemd/system/domino-db.service.

Check with

systemctl status domino-db

● domino-db.service - domino-node-list sample
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/domino-db.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sun 2018-12-30 10:24:04 CET; 4min 15s ago
 Main PID: 7163 (node)
    Tasks: 7
   CGroup: /system.slice/domino-db.service
           └─7163 node /git/domino-node-list/app.js

Dec 30 10:24:04 serv02.fritz.box systemd[1]: Started domino-node-list sample.
Dec 30 10:24:04 serv02.fritz.box systemd[1]: Starting domino-node-list sample...
Dec 30 10:24:05 serv02.fritz.box app.js[7163]: Example app listening at http://:::3000

You can now start and stop the service at any time using

systemctl start domino-db
systemctl stop domino-db

One thought on “Start node.js application using systemd on RHEL 7

  1. Another option to start Node scripts at startup is using pm2 – a Node process manager. You can add several scripts, enable and disable them and over all you can set pm2 as a service at startup. Very neat, no scripting and systemd needed.

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