Quick Start

Welcome to the PM2 Quick Start! Getting started with PM2 is straightforward, it is offered as a simple and intuitive CLI, installable via NPM. Just start your application with PM2 to boost your application and to make it ready to handle a ton of traffic!


The latest PM2 stable version is installable via NPM:

$ npm install pm2@latest -g


The simplest way to start, daemonize and monitor your application is by using this command line:

$ pm2 start app.js

Application declaration

You can also create a configuration file to manage multiple applications:


  - script   : app.js
    instances: 4
    exec_mode: cluster
  - script : worker.js
    watch  : true
    env    :
      NODE_ENV: development
      NODE_ENV: production

And start it easily:

$ pm2 start process.yml

Read more about application declaration here.

Setup startup script

Restarting PM2 with the processes you manage on server boot/reboot is critical. To solve this, just run this command to generate an active startup script:

$ pm2 startup

More information

Folder structure

Once PM2 is started, it will automatically create these folders:

  • $HOME/.pm2 will contain all PM2 related files
  • $HOME/.pm2/logs will contain all applications logs
  • $HOME/.pm2/pids will contain all applications pids
  • $HOME/.pm2/pm2.log PM2 logs
  • $HOME/.pm2/pm2.pid PM2 pid
  • $HOME/.pm2/rpc.sock Socket file for remote commands
  • $HOME/.pm2/pub.sock Socket file for publishable events
  • $HOME/.pm2/conf.js PM2 Configuration

In Windows, the $HOME environment variable can be $HOMEDRIVE + $HOMEPATH (link)


Here are some commands that are worth knowing. Just try them with a sample application or with your current web application on your development machine:

# Fork mode
$ pm2 start app.js --name my-api # Name process

# Cluster mode
$ pm2 start app.js -i 0        # Will start maximum processes with LB depending on available CPUs
$ pm2 start app.js -i max      # Same as above, but deprecated.

# Listing

$ pm2 list               # Display all processes status
$ pm2 jlist              # Print process list in raw JSON
$ pm2 prettylist         # Print process list in beautified JSON

$ pm2 describe 0         # Display all informations about a specific process

$ pm2 monit              # Monitor all processes

# Logs

$ pm2 logs [--raw]       # Display all processes logs in streaming
$ pm2 flush              # Empty all log file
$ pm2 reloadLogs         # Reload all logs

# Actions

$ pm2 stop all           # Stop all processes
$ pm2 restart all        # Restart all processes

$ pm2 reload all         # Will 0s downtime reload (for NETWORKED apps)
$ pm2 gracefulReload all # Send exit message then reload (for networked apps)

$ pm2 stop 0             # Stop specific process id
$ pm2 restart 0          # Restart specific process id

$ pm2 delete 0           # Will remove process from pm2 list
$ pm2 delete all         # Will remove all processes from pm2 list

# Misc

$ pm2 reset <process>    # Reset meta data (restarted time...)
$ pm2 updatePM2          # Update in memory pm2
$ pm2 ping               # Ensure pm2 daemon has been launched
$ pm2 sendSignal SIGUSR2 my-app # Send system signal to script
$ pm2 start app.js --no-daemon
$ pm2 start app.js --no-vizion
$ pm2 start app.js --no-autorestart

42 starts

ndlr; 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

$ pm2 start app.js           # Start app.js

$ pm2 start app.js -- -a 23  # Pass arguments '-a 23' argument to app.js script

$ pm2 start app.js --name serverone # Start a process and name it as serverone
                                    # you can now stop the process by doing
                                    # pm2 stop serverone

$ pm2 start app.js --node-args="--debug=7001" # --node-args to pass options to node V8

$ pm2 start app.js -i 0             # Start maximum processes depending on available CPUs (cluster mode)

$ pm2 start app.js --log-date-format "YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm Z"    # Log will be prefixed with custom time format

$ pm2 start app.json                # Start processes with options declared in app.json
                                    # Go to chapter Multi process JSON declaration for more

$ pm2 start app.js -e err.log -o out.log  # Start and specify error and out log

For scripts in other languages:

$ pm2 start echo.pl --interpreter=perl

$ pm2 start echo.coffee
$ pm2 start echo.php
$ pm2 start echo.py
$ pm2 start echo.sh
$ pm2 start echo.rb

The interpreter is set by default with this equivalence:

  ".sh": "bash",
  ".py": "python",
  ".rb": "ruby",
  ".coffee" : "coffee",
  ".php": "php",
  ".pl" : "perl",
  ".js" : "node"



   -h, --help                           output usage information
   -V, --version                        output the version number
   -v --version                         get version
   -s --silent                          hide all messages
   -m --mini-list                       display a compacted list without formatting
   -f --force                           force actions
   -n --name <name>                     set a <name> for script
   -i --instances <number>              launch [number] instances (for networked app)(load balanced)
   -l --log [path]                      specify entire log file (error and out are both included)
   -o --output <path>                   specify out log file
   -e --error <path>                    specify error log file
   -p --pid <pid>                       specify pid file
   --max-memory-restart <memory>        specify max memory amount used to autorestart (in megaoctets)
   --env <environment_name>             specify environment to get specific env variables (for JSON declaration)
   -x --execute-command                 execute a program using fork system
   -u --user <username>                 define user when generating startup script
   -c --cron <cron_pattern>             restart a running process based on a cron pattern
   -w --write                           write configuration in local folder
   --interpreter <interpreter>          the interpreter pm2 should use for executing app (bash, python...)
   --log-date-format <momentjs format>  add custom prefix timestamp to logs
   --no-daemon                          run pm2 daemon in the foreground if it doesn't exist already
   --merge-logs                         merge logs from different instances but keep error and out separated
   --watch                              watch application folder for changes
   --ignore-watch <folders|files>       folder/files to be ignored watching, chould be a specific name or regex - e.g. --ignore-watch="test node_modules "some scripts""
   --node-args <node_args>              space delimited arguments to pass to node in cluster mode - e.g. --node-args="--debug=7001 --trace-deprecation"
   --no-color                           skip colors
   --no-vizion                          skip vizion features (versioning control)
   --no-autorestart                     do not automatically restart apps

What’s next?

Learn how to declare all your application’s behavior options into a JSON configuration file.

Learn how to do clean stop and restart to increase reliability.

Learn how to deploy and update production applications easily.

Monitor your production applications with Keymetrics.

How to update PM2

Install the latest pm2 version:

$ npm install pm2@latest -g

Then update the in-memory PM2 :

$ pm2 update