The following article will demonstrate how to use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and SupervisorD to manage the not-so-uncommon case of long running services that expect to be running in active console / terminal. Those are usually quickly / badly written pieces of code that do not use daemon(), or equivalent function, to properly go into background but instead run forever in the foreground. Over the years multiple solutions emerged, including quite the ugly ones (nohup … 2>&1 logfile &). Luckily, there is a better one, and it’s called SupervisorD. With Ubuntu 14.04 LTS it even comes as a package and it should be part of your DevOps arsenal of tools!

In a typical Python / Web-scale environment multiple components will be implemented in a de-coupled, micro-services, REST-based architecture. One of the popular frameworks for REST is Bottle. And there are multiple approaches to build services with Bottle when full-blown HTTP Server is available (Apache, NginX, etc.) or if performance matters. All of those are valid and somewhat documented. But still, there is the case (and it more common than one would think) when developer will create Bottle server to handle simple task and it will propagate into production, using ugly solution like Screen/TMUX or even nohup. Here is a way to put this under proper control.

Test Server code:

Test server configuration file: test-server.conf

Manual execution of the server code will looks like this:

When the controlling terminal is lost the server will be terminated. Obviously, this is neither acceptable, nor desirable behavior.

With SupervisorD (sudo aptitude install supervisor) the service can be properly managed using simple configuration file.

Example SupervisorD configuration file: /etc/supervisor/conf.d/test-server.conf

To start the service, execute:

To verify successful service start:

SupervisorD will redirect stdout and stderr to properly named log files:

Those log files can be integrated with a centralized logging architecture or processed for error / anomaly detection separately.

SupervisorD also comes with handy, command-line control utility, supervisorctl:

With some additional effort SupervisorD can react to various types of events ( which bring it one step closer to full process monitoring & notification solution!


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