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Run NodeJS as a Service on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Run NodeJS as a Service on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

With Node you can write very fast JavaScript programs serverside. It's pretty easy to install Node, code your program, and run it. But > how do you make it run nicely in the background like a true server?

  • Go to /etc/init/
  • $ sudo vim yourapp.conf
  • Paste script.conf
  • $ sudo start yourapp
  • And when you wanna kill the process $ sudo stop yourapp


Thanks to [] ( for this!

description "node.js server"
author "Foo Bar"
# used to be: start on startup
# until we found some mounts weren't ready yet while booting
start on started mountall
stop on shutdown
# automatically respawn
respawn limit 99 5
export HOME="/root"
exec /usr//bin/nodejs /path/to/yourapp.js >> /var/log/node.log 2>&1
end script
post-start script
# optionally put a script here that will notifiy you node has (re)started
# /root/bin/ "node.js has started!"
end script

This did the trick. Thanks.

AmaVic commented Feb 12, 2016

Thanks a lot for this ! Really useful !

Thank you!

matt212 commented Mar 14, 2016

how to daemon this service to run after server restart !
currently when I am executing in init.d folder
sudo update-rc.d defaults
the application does not starts after system reboots !

Is "exec /usr//bin/nodejs" valid ? it has two //'s in sequence.

unknown job: myapp

jiggy1com commented Jul 25, 2016

looks too easy! haha can't wait to try it, thx! ... and 3 hours later, voila! It worked, but I had to reconfigure some constants to work with nodemon (local dev) and this script (prod). I had some paths set with fs.realpathSync, then tried to use __dirname but ended up having to use path.resolve(__dirname, '..') [+ '/whatever'] -- Just putting it out there in case anyone else runs into similar issues. (I'm new to NodeJS if you couldn't tell, but stoked on it)

Good job Samuel!!

how to start :)
root@debian:/etc/init# start myapp
bash: start: command not found

start: Unable to connect to Upstart: Failed to connect to socket /com/ubuntu/upstart: Connection refused

This was the error showed to me ... Help me out

Had the same error.-
I ran below instructions on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and works for me.

sudo apt-get install upstart-sysv
sudo update-initramfs -u
sudo reboot

here's the link


james-inc commented Jul 1, 2017


Is "exec /usr//bin/nodejs" valid ? it has two //'s in sequence.

apparently this is fine (I tried cd-ing into both '/usr/bin' and also '/usr//bin' directories and both resolve)
here is a link to

now I just have to figure out how to get this to open my script in a screen

I did it by pm2 this way(Ubuntu 16.04.01 LTS):
npm install -g pm2
pm2 start yourapp.js
pm2 startup
pm2 save

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