Run NodeJS server on boot with forever on Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi is capable to host a NodeJS server. We want to use node’s forever module to keep our node server running, even when system restarts.

Install forever

Install forever and use the node app as root:

sudo -i npm install forever -g

Test run your nodeJS server app:

forever start /var/www/simple-server.js

Start node server app on boot

  1. To start editing run the following replacing the “pi” with your desired runtime user for the node process. If you choose a different user other then yourself, you will have to run this with sudo.
    $ crontab -u pi -e
  2. It will ask you which editor you wish to edit with. Select nano.
  3. Once in the editor add the following line:
    @reboot /usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /usr/local/bin/forever start /var/www/simple-server.js
  4. Save the file. You should get some feedback that the cron had been installed.
  5. For further confirmation of the installation of the cron, execute the following (again replacing “pi” with your target username) to list the currently installed crons:
    $ crontab -u pi -l 

Reference:

  • http://blog.nodejitsu.com/keep-a-nodejs-server-up-with-forever
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13385029/automatically-start-forever-node-on-system-restart

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  • Jón Levy

    Not working mate. Manually running ‘forever start [my-app-file].js’ in my project dir with the pi user works though.

    • Dipto Pratyaksa

      It depends on what version of node.js you have installed on the pi. This was written 2 years ago, versions may not be compatible with the current Pi settings or there could be issues with user permissions / ownership of the file. You could change that by:
      sudo chmod 777 /var/www/simple-server.js
      sudo chown pi /var/www/simple-server.js

      What was the error you got?

      Try this: https://gist.github.com/leommoore/5795606 and let me know how you go