Using nssm to automatically start a node server on windows
July 04, 2019
Automatically starting a node process (e.g. your server) on Windows (Windows Server or Windows 10) can be quite tricky. For *nix systems there are great alternatives (pm2 or forever), but I did not have any luck getting them to run on our windows machines.
NSSM short for non-sucking service manager however worked great for our other services. Luckily we can use it as our service manager for node processes, too.
NSSM is a small comand line tool that can be used to start, stop, install and uninstall services. This is how you would stop a service for example:
nssm stop service-name
Other helpful commands are
nssm start service-name to start a server and
nssm remove service-name to uninstall a stopped service. You can also edit (
nssm edit service-name) the service information. To install a service use
nssm install service-name and follow the instructions, or use the script below.
This is my install_service.bat script to install and configure a service.
@echo off cd /D "%~dp0" :: Set the correct directory. Only %~dp0 does not work because of its trailing backslash set HOME=%CD% :: check for permissions first :: we need admin priviliges for NSSM goto check_Permissions :check_Permissions echo Administrative permissions required. Detecting permissions... net session >nul 2>&1 if %errorLevel% == 0 ( echo Success: Administrative permissions confirmed. Starting config tool goto startInstallation ) else ( echo Failure: Current permissions inadequate. Please right click bat and run as Administrator. pause exit /B 1 ) pause :: only gets called when we have admin priviliges :startInstallation echo Installing service :: Set your service name and its description here set SERVICE_NAME=node-script set SERVICE_DESCRIPTION=description :: replace with the absolute path where node.exe can be found nssm install %SERVICE_NAME% "C:\Program Files\nodejs\node.exe" nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% Description "%SERVICE_DESCRIPTION%" nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% AppDirectory "%HOME%" :: replace index.js with the name of your script nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% AppParameters "index.js" :: optionally set the out.log and error.log paths which will be used for stdouts and sterr messages :: better: use a logging framework like winston nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% AppStdout "%HOME%\out.log" nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% AppStderr "%HOME%\error.log" :: Start the service nssm start %SERVICE_NAME% echo Successfully installed and started service %SERVICE_NAME% pause
You have to replace up to 4 things when you copy this script.
node-scriptwith your service name here. Must not have spaces. Use dashes instead of spaces!
descriptionwith the service’s description. While being optional, I recommend to always set a description. It makes it easier for your colleagues and your future self to remember what the service is about.
nssm set %SERVICE_NAME% AppParameters "index.js"
index.jswith the name of your script. E.g.
nssm install %SERVICE_NAME% "C:\Program Files\nodejs\node.exe"
If your node.exe cannot be found under that location, please set the correct path here.
You could also replace the paths for
AppStderr. I recommend using a logger library like winston instead.